After A Week of Uncertainty, Florida’s Medical Marijuana Grow Houses Narrowly Escaped Hurricane Irma
The burgeoning industry’s first encounter with Florida’s most common natural disaster has quelled nerves, for now.
Published on September 16, 2017

As Florida’s medical marijuana providers and patients geared up to start producing and selling the natural medicine across the Sunshine State earlier this year, no one was foolish enough to overlook the threat of mother nature. With a fickle product easily affected by flooding, rot, wind and more, the brand new industry had been anxiously awaiting its first encounter with the southeast state’s notorious hurricane season.

Now, after Hurricane Irma’s 140 mph winds tore apart huge swaths of the state, the Miami Herald has reported that the infantile industry is still standing, with a number of medical marijuana cultivators reporting that, despite damage from the category 4 storm, patients can still expect their product to arrive at retailers on schedule.

“We were thankfully spared the worst of the storm and have fared well considering the plight of others,” Flor Santiesteban, a spokesman for Miami-Dade based Modern Health Concepts, said. “Our cultivation and processing facilities are up and running with backup power at the moment, and we resumed filling patient orders yesterday.”

Surterra Wellness, a Tampa-based grow facility, reported a broken roof and minor flooding, while Tallahassee-based Trulieve had to suspend delivery services due to the run on the area’s gas stations during the evacuation process. From all available accounts, it appears the rest of the state’s cannabis providers suffered similar minor issues, but came out of the storm largely undamaged.

“We got a little bit of damage to some top elements of the greenhouse from some things blown around,” 3 Boys Farm director of dispensary management Bill Monroe said, adding that even with the damage, the cultivation center emerged intact.

Of course, one storm does not make a trend and escaping Irma doesn’t have any long term implications as far as future storms, but in Hurricane alley, getting through one, particularly nasty storm is a good start.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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