As fires rage across the U.S., it isn’t just farmers and ranchers that are being affected. The marijuana industry is also struggling with the devastating effects of wildfire season. While some growers have been spared from the fires, others have not been so fortunate.
At the beginning of September, 65 fires were reported to be raging across the U.S. The fires were also reported to have claimed over 8 million acres of land. The states particularly affected by these fires are Montana, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. One of the most destructive fires, located in Northern California, claimed at least 585 homes and hundreds of other structures.
These fires, paired with the present drought situation, have made things very bleak for those whose livelihoods depend on the land located in these areas. For those affected, water has become more than a necessity. It is now a luxury. For the state of California, 2015 is the fourth year of record breaking drought. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2015, which was accompanied by strict conservation measures statewide.
Timothy Anderson is the purchasing manager for Harborside Health Center. A medical marijuana dispensary based out of Oakland California. According to Anderson, the majority of his suppliers are located in the lower end of what is known as the Emerald Triangle. The Emerald Triangle is an area comprising three counties at the tip of Northern California. It is known for producing some of the country’s best buds; such as, strains like Mendocino Purps and Humboldt Headband. The economy of the Emerald Triangle really depends on the marijuana growers and their reputation for producing these popular strains.
With road closures, it has been difficult for suppliers to get their product to market. Other suppliers are situated in the midst of the blaze’s danger zone. However, many of these brave growers refuse to leave their farms. Not only would they be leaving it to the mercy of the fires, but also to neglect. The drought issue requires irrigation lines and reservoirs to be monitored continuously.
There are also many indirect affects that the wildfires have had on marijuana growth. For one, smoke has become a real problem. Residual smoke can seep into the marijuana plant’s flowers, causing the smell and taste of the weed to be altered. The smoke also blocks the light, causing the plants to flower too early.
The devastating fires are not the only hurtle that the marijuana industry is dealing with. Marijuana businesses are struggling all the way to the bank. Even though the sale of marijuana may be legal in some of the states, as far as the banks are concerned, the money is from illegal drug money – they won’t touch it. Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug and is therefore illegal on the federal level.
As a result, marijuana businesses are forced to deal only in cash, which is obviously not practical or safe. Unless Congress steps in and changes federal drug and drug-trafficking laws, this will continue to be a roadblock for businesses. In order to operate safely, marijuana businesses really need to be able to secure payment processing.
Thankfully, high risk payment processors have stepped in to fill this gap. A marijuana merchant account is specifically tailored to meet the needs of a marijuana businesses. A marijuana merchant account allows a business to process all of its credit card payments for a low rate and in a safe and secure manner. In addition, unlike all of the red tape experienced when applying with a traditional source, applying for a marijuana merchant account is fast, simple and hassle-free.
Talk to us about marijuana merchant account services today!