Colorado’s legal cannabis market is facing supply shortages following considerable crop losses by Los Sueños Farms, the state’s primary cannabis producer.
An estimated half of the company’s cannabis plants unexpectedly froze prior to harvest; this is after an unforeseen early winter storm abruptly brought the temperature down 70 degrees over a 34-hour period, ending with a record low of 9 degrees.
As with any other crop, agreeable weather is key to a successful cannabis harvest. Sudden drops in temperature can cause instant damage to fragile cannabis plants and quickly ruin an entire year’s work. Thankfully, budtenders were able to salvage half of the harvest, around 20,000 plants, before cold temperatures ruined the remaining crop.
As the winter storm was in full swing, Los Sueños Farms employees were rushing to chop down and gather as much cannabis as possible, even pouring hot water on the ground to prevent the roots from freezing in an admirable attempt to slow the unavoidable damage to the crop.
Despite their utmost efforts, however, the loss was still substantial: the remaining 20,000 plants were destroyed by the sudden onslaught of snow, amounting to approximately 750,000 pounds of biomass.
Advertised as the largest cannabis farm operating in North America, Los Sueños owns four cannabis farms in Pueblo County, spanning a total of 36 acres of outdoor production, along with several large indoor facilities.
Founder of Los Sueños Farms, Bob DeGabrielle, told Marijuana Business Daily, “It was going to be a huge, bumper year. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything about Mother Nature.” Added DeGabrielle, “We did everything we could to mitigate what was happening…There was no place else to put much more product.”
The cannabis supply shortage doesn’t bode well for dispensaries throughout the state, both medical and recreational, that rely on Los Sueños to stock their shelves. Patients reliant on medical marijuana will likely be impacted as well.
Medicine Man Technologies, a vertically integrated cannabis company based out of Denver, announced plans to acquire Los Sueños Farms in June of this year. Chief revenue officer for Medicine Man Technologies, Joshua Haupt, was quoted saying, “This is definitely going to affect the entire state’s supply.”
As one might expect, the price of cannabis in Colorado is likely to increase as a result of the supply shortage.
According to a Tweet put out by Fox31 Denver KDVR (@KDVR), “Los Sueños Farms in Pueblo lost about 20,000 pot plants in hours of subfreezing temperatures and several inches of snow during an October storm.”
In another recent Tweet, said EquityInsight (@EquityInsightCA), “Colorado’s largest #cannabis grower loses millions of dollars in early freeze; supply disruption expected. Medicine Man Technologies $MDCL is in the process of acquiring Los Sueños Farms for $11.9 million.”
Thankfully, it wasn’t a total loss: the flower that was able to be saved from the storm contains between 18 and 25% THC. Despite the damage done by the storm, said DeGabrielle, “We had some beautiful crops. And of what we got we have some beautiful bud to sell.”