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Colorado's Largest Weed Grower Overcomes Crop Freeze and $7 Million Loss
news  |  Dec 11, 2019

Colorado's Largest Weed Grower Overcomes Crop Freeze and $7 Million Loss

In October, the Boulder State's largest pot grower lost nearly $7 million worth of pot to an early freeze, but it turns out the company still managed to make its largest harvest ever.

In October, the Boulder State's largest pot grower lost nearly $7 million worth of pot to an early freeze, but it turns out the company still managed to make its largest harvest ever.

Last October, Colorado was hit by an unexpected winter storm, bringing snow and freezing temperatures far earlier than anyone expected. For many state residents, the early snow was an inconvenience. But the storm was disasterous for at least one outdoor cannabis grower.

Los Sueños Farms, the state's largest legal pot cultivator, was hit hard by the weather. The Pueblo-based company simultaneously grows both indoor and outdoor plants to produce flower as well as biomass trim that can be used to make extracts and edibles. Cultivators planned to harvest their outdoor pot plants later in the fall, before the traditional onset of winter, but the sudden storm forced them to pull the plants early.

Before the temperature dropped below freezing, Los Sueños harvested as many plants as they could, and tried to cover the remaining plants with blankets, to no avail. In total, the company had to harvest around 20,000 of their 40,000 total weed plants, losing around $7 million in the process. At the time, it was uncertain exactly how this cold snap would affect the company's total production output, and industry leaders began to worry about whether this sudden setback would disrupt the state's supply chain. 

But as grim as the picture seemed two months ago, Los Sueños still managed to have a banner year. “It’s actually been great,” said Los Sueños owner Bob DeGabrielle to Marijuana Business Daily. “We have about 10,000-12,000 pounds of bud that were good quality bud before we got hit with the storm. We’re still going to be 25%-30% ahead of the best year we’ve ever had. Matter of fact, the last two months have been the best two months in our history in terms of sales volume.”

The company had already harvested half of its crop before the storm hit. Outdoor plants were already being harvested by a machine that can trim 500 pounds of weed per hour, and flower was being hung up to dry 10 days before the weather took a turn for the worse. And although some of the remaining plants were damaged by frost, these plants can still be sold as biomass for extraction.

DeGabrielle said that he expected to sell thousands of pounds of biomass this year, and much of this product will be higher potency than previous years' trim. “Everybody’s business is up,” DeGabrielle said to MJ Biz Daily. “The whole concentrate portion is up.” Los Sueños' wholesale prices are also likely to remain roughly the same as last year, because the company still managed to harvest more weed than it did in 2018, despite the storm.

chrismoore

Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.

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