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Ask a Stoner: Will Wildfires Affect the Quality of Legal Weed?

Ask a Stoner: Will Wildfires Affect the Quality of Legal Weed?
Westword

Dear Stoner: What does wildfire smoke do to weed? Should I be worried about what I’m buying in Colorado for the rest of the year?
Tyler

Dear Tyler: Over the past few months, most of America's western side has been burning — right where the majority of our legal weed grows are located. For cannabis industries that rely heavily on outdoor growing operations in California and Oregon, that could be devastating. For states with more indoor grows, including Colorado, the consequences aren't nearly as bad.

Smoke from Colorado's Lake Christine fire seen from a distance.
Smoke from Colorado's Lake Christine fire seen from a distance.
pitkinalert.org file photo

Most of Colorado's outdoor cannabis grows are in southern Colorado and weren't at great risk during this year's wildfires — though there were reports of ash and smoke over plants. But Oregon, California and Washington have all seen cannabis grows burn to the ground this summer, and northern California's Emerald Triangle region has been at risk for weeks — and not just at risk for low-quality buds. At risk for a major supply shortage.

There isn't much research around what natural smoke does to cannabis, but smoke and ash from man-made structures and fire retardant residue can definitely contaminate the buds. Indoor weed should be safer, as long as the growers replace their air filters.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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