Crops at Colorado's largest grow devastated by early freeze, pushing state's cannabis supply to the brink

Crops at Colorado's largest grow devastated by early freeze, pushing state's cannabis supply to the brink

More bad news from Colorado’s cannabis industry

VicesOctober 18, 2019 By Will Brendza

Lately, things have not been going great for Colorado’s cannabis supply.

First, there was the flower shortage, a state-wide scarcity of bud that has pushed a lot of dispensaries to desperate ends and which drove bud prices up across the market. Then, last week there was the massive recall of Bonsai Cultivation’s moldy flower, which affected 144 different dispensaries state-wide.

Now, after a freak snowstorm and early cold front swept across the state, Colorado’s largest cannabis grower has reportedly lost millions and millions of dollars of product. It’s a loss that’s undoubtedly going to affect an already strained supply of marijuana in the Centennial State.

Los Sueños Farms is a 36-acre outdoor and indoor grow operation out of Pueblo. They’ve been harvesting hundreds of thousands of pounds of biomass for the last five years, and this year, Los Sueños was anticipating breaking their previous harvest record by two to three times

It was going to be a huge, bumper year,” Los Sueños founder Bob DeGabrielle told Marijuana Business Daily. “Unfortunately, you can’t do anything about Mother Nature.”

And on October 10th Mother Nature decided to throw Los Sueños a curve ball. A harsh autumn cold front swept across Colorado, dropping temperatures and dropping snow, dashing DeGabrielle’s hopes of having his biggest-ever harvest. It happened in the middle of a warm week. It was an unavoidable, abrupt and devastating.

The Los Sueños team leapt into action as soon as it was clear things were not looking good; they started harvesting what they could, running hot water through the fields to prevent roots from freezing, blanketing the harvested cannabis to protect it from the snow and frigid 50-mile per hour winds.

And then , as suddenly as it came, the weather was gone. The next day the sun was out and the skies were clear — but the damage was already done.

Of their 40,000 outdoor plants, Los Sueños managed to cut down and salvage roughly half. And even the 20,000 plants that were lost to the freeze, still have some value. DeGabrielle will still be able to use/sell that bud for extractions; for edibles, oils and salves — it’s just can’t be sold as flower any more.

So it isn’t a total loss.

But, it will likely affect the availability and price of flower throughout the state. This in combination with the Bonsai Cultivation recall and the state’s ongoing flower shortage, is going to pressure the state's already strained flower supply.

“This is definitely going to affect the entire state’s supply,” Joshua Haupt, the chief revenue officer for Medicine Man Technologies, which is in the process of acquiring Los Sueños farms, said.    

Which means, this might be the autumn (and winter) of edibles and concentrates. Clean off those dab rigs and get your canna-snacks ready, because flower might be harder to get and more expensive than normal over the holiday months.