Cultivators Dial Back Operations Amid Historic PNW Heat


<![CDATA[Cannabis was meant to burn—but not like this. A heat dome trapped over the Pacific Northwest has broiled much of the region, with record-setting triple-digit temperatures being felt from Whistler, British Columbia, all the way to Northern California. Cannabis cultivators in the area are hard-pressed to keep operations going as they try to protect both their crops and their teams from the potentially deadly heat.“We are roasting both in Ellensburg and Seattle,” Jade Stefano, co-founder and CEO of Washington-based Puffin Farm, told Cannabis Business Times in a June 28 email. Stefano reported temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with a weekly high of 112 degrees expected in the coming days. Per The Washington Post, a heat dome is a pocket “of slow-moving hot air under higher pressure that blocks new weather systems from moving in.” Stefano, who operates both an indoor extraction facility in Seattle and greenhouse operation in Ellensburg, added that conditions weren’t much improved in the greenhouse—even with shade cloths and swamp coolers, the structures remain above 80 degrees. While that is an improvement on the outdoor temperature, it remains elevated for ideal cannabis cultivation (which typically is set in the mid-to-high-70s).Alex Cooley, co-founder of Solstice, which cultivates indoors, outdoors and in greenhouses in Seattle, Ephrata and Trinidad, Washington, said the company has moved shifts up earlier in the day, with some starting at 4 a.m. In addition, he noted they have increased irrigation frequency but decreased volume, and water right before the lights go out.And, like Stefano, one of the primary tools Solstice using to beat the heat is “shade cloth, shade cloth, shade cloth,” Cooley said in an email sent June 29.In Washington’s Okanogan County, Cannasol Farms owner Jeremy Moberg said that the most shocking aspect about the heat is how early it arrived this year. While he has…

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