When the Water Runs Dry: California Cannabis Cultivators Can Apply for Disaster Relief

the drought in ca

California – They say there aren’t seasons in California, but anyone who lives there can tell you it’s not true. There’s Spring, Summer, Ultra Summer, and what inevitable results from the drawn out heat? Drought season (with fire season starting shortly after.) With Governor Gavin Newsom issuing three separate states of emergency in 2021 due to severe drought and fire conditions, the state anticipates that 2022 will be no different. 

According to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 100% of California exists in some state of drought, and of that 100% percent, 71.4% exists in the range of extreme-exceptional drought. With temperatures continuing to climb and rainfall amounts continuing to fall due to the effects of global warming, the increased demands for water to sustain agriculture has been wholly unsustainable. 

The California Department of Cannabis Control issued a statement on June 2nd to encourage anyone impacted by the droughts to request disaster relief, saying: 

State and local agencies across California are already working to promote water conservation—including, for example, through programs in certain local jurisdictions in which cultivators may conserve water by fallowing their crops. If relief from DCC licensing requirements would make it economically feasible to participate in local fallowing programs, or would otherwise support California’s water conservation efforts, DCC encourages licensees to request disaster relief.

The requests for relief are reviewed on a case by case basis, per the DCC – but with 2022 ranking as the driest year to date in the 128 years that the statistics have been kept, and the temperatures not only rising, but sustaining – it would behoove any licensees who believe they will be in need of relief to apply as soon as possible to get the process started. 

Learn more about the CA Disaster Relief Program (and how to apply for relief) here. 

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Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.

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