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California marijuana farms at risk as weed smoke could rise from wildfires

The fires may cause a familiar smell but onlookers are more likely to get sick than high, a fire official says, and small operations could be destroyed

Marijuana farms have been engulfed by California wildfires over the summer as firefighters work to contain blazes across northern California that have already burned through more than 70,000 acres. While the marijuana crops destroyed are unlikely to cause any statewide supply issues, it could drive up some prices, put small farmers out of business – and disseminate a familiar smell.

Hezekiah Allen of the Emerald Growers Association, an association of cannabis growers in California, said a burning marijuana farm would potentially release similar smoke into the air as when a person traditionally smokes. It might smell close to pot, he said, but would be “tainted” because of all the other items and plants like poison oak burning along with it.

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