This year, it’s not just wildfires that have caused havoc with cannabis and hemp crops across the US and Europe, other weather activity has also played a part.
Extreme weather events, from hurricanes, tropical storms, wildfires and floods to early frosts mean growers need to re-evaluate specific strains of crops for their adaptability, optimum harvesting time, consider a move to higher or lower ground and even from outdoor to indoor to avoid the worst of the extreme weather swings.
With wildfires still raging in California, Hurricane Ida made landfall in early September, battering the cannabis crops and supply chain still recovering from the effects of a global pandemic.
Nothing passed through the Port of New Orleans, dispensaries remained shuttered and as Ida journeyed on, US hemp and cannabis operators faced flood damage, power cuts and collapsed supply chains. Even when the worst of the storm had passed, power outages kept many businesses closed.
Supply chain in critical condition
As the clean up got underway, logistics issues continued to cause significant business disruption, with chemicals critical for cannabis production in short supply due to a lack of available haulage. As reported in Hemp Industry Daily, “trucks and drivers already in short supply are being redirected to haul relief supplies or provide other emergency services. Fuel prices are going up because of oil and gas disruptions, and supply lines are already stretched thin by more than a year of pandemic closures. The ripple effect means that even cannabis business operating in a single state far from the storm could experience rising costs and supply delays.”
In terms of the future, we must build business resilience to extreme weather activity:
Establish relationships with multiple suppliers to reduce reliance on a single source
Hold sufficient stocks to keep going if there are protracted supply chain issues
Have an alternative power source to keep crops heated or cooled in the event of prolonged power outages
Make a resiliency plan so any business interruption is limited
Insure what you can to get back up and running as quickly as possible
Building a reliable European supply chain
For businesses operating here in the UK, it’s time to build a robust and reliable supply chain that can be fulfilled from within Europe so the increasingly extreme weather conditions and haulage issues in the US don’t impact our ability to do business here.
Because of outdated legislation, the UK is still reliant on Europe and the US for the raw materials but the closer to home we can source, the better reliability of supply and lower carbon footprint. Purchasing locally will also help keep money in the UK or European economy and may lead to sustained growth in the sector.