Skip to contents
Business

Colorado cold snap could disrupt state’s marijuana industry

Jon Vaught, CEO of a cannabis biotech firm Front Range Biosciences, said the temperatures below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday combined with snow were “catastrophic for growers.”

Cannabis plants grow inside a cultivation facility near Lafayette on Dec. 13, 2018. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Early cold temperatures and snow in Colorado may have destroyed millions of dollars worth of outdoor plants, cannabis and hemp companies said.

The drop of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) occurred too early in the growing season for farmers to harvest the plants, Marijuana Business Daily reports.

Jon Vaught, CEO of a cannabis biotech firm Front Range Biosciences, said the temperatures below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday combined with snow were “catastrophic for growers.”

Nick Drury, director of cultivation at Denver marijuana company Lightshade, said the decreased supply from the outdoor crops is likely to result in less lower-grade competition for indoor growers, while the price for extract materials could increase.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

At the PotCo outdoor marijuana farm outside Pueblo, co-owner James Lowe said he was ready for low temperatures but unprepared for up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of wet snow.

The farm has about 7,000 plants trellised together and the heavy moisture collapsed much of the canopy over them. The losses could reach between $4 million and $5 million, he said.

“We were on pace for the largest harvest we’ve ever had,” Lowe said. “The weight of it was what ended up being the problem.”


The Colorado Sun has no paywall, meaning readers do not have to pay to access stories. We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable.

This reporting depends on support from readers like you. For just $5/month, you can invest in an informed community.