Particularly in rural California areas, wildfires pose an increasing threat to people's lives, property, and livelihoods. Cannabis, one of California's most recent and profitable commercial crops, may be more vulnerable to wildfire damage. Our research confirms that the cultivation of cannabis is spatially more vulnerable to wildfire than any other crop in California.
Not just those in Northern California, but practically all significant cannabis-producing counties, have this problem.
The $3 billion cannabis industry, which has only been allowed to grow for commercial purposes in the state since 2018, is already among the top five agricultural exports from California. However, it is not counted in the state's agricultural production statistics because the USDA does not classify cannabis as an agricultural crop. The tax income from legal cannabis sales in California in 2020 was $780 million.