Cannabis industry rallies for California wildfire relief

October 19, 2017
Gabrielle Lurie, The Chronicle SOURCE: Gabrielle Lurie, The Chronicle

As firefighters finish putting out the historic wildfires in Northern California Thursday, efforts are well underway to support the numerous farmers decimated in the middle of the 2017 outdoor cannabis harvest and the wider community.

A total of 22 fires have taken at least 42 lives, burned more than 5,000 structures and more than 330 square-miles of wildland and urban areas. Evacuation orders continue to be lifted, and the community is rallying to support a variety of people and pets impacted so far.

The California Growers Association's wildfire relief fund to support its membership has raised nearly $10,000. On Monday afternoon CGA Executive Director Hezekiah Allen announced the crowdfundraising site YouCaring had halted CGA's campaign. According to a YouCaring spokesperson, YouCaring's payment processor WePay is not accepting the transactions "because of strict policies regarding cannabis campaigns. " The CGA fundraiser has moved to a new site.

In the early going last week Allen told us more than two dozen CGA members had lost their entire farms in the blazes burning near Santa Rosa, Redwood Valley and beyond. “This is going to leave a deep scar,” Allen said.

All who have lost their homes, farms, or cannabis businesses to the fires across California should email CGA their loss report and needs at wildfires@calgrowers.org

Amanda Reiman, outreach coordinator for Flow Kana has spent the last week with a river separating her from the flames of the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire. “Up here we have the Community Foundation of Mendocino County collecting donations,” she told GreenState. As of noon on Friday, $134,500 had been donated to the fund.

Reiman also noted Rainbow Ag in Ukiah is taking monetary donations for supplies for the animals that have been evacuated. People can call them at 707-462-2404 and donate over the phone.

Other folks in Mendocino have also been circulating this fund meant to help the victims of the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley Fires. Those efforts have raised $6,500 for the impacted community members.

Cultivators in the hardest hit areas of Sonoma County are trying to get organized but also have to be ready to leave quickly if need be. “We're preparing to host an emergency relief meeting to find out who in the cannabis community has been impacted by the fires & what best support they will need,” said Tawnie Logan of the Sonoma County Growers Association.

“What we know so far is that at least 20 farms have been destroyed 'pre-harvest', and 15 homes with homegrows,” said Logan, “We want to make sure the monies we receive make the most impact and distribute effectively to these families.

Cultivator Mark West's garden in northeastern Santa Rosa burned down early Monday morning.​
Courtesy of Mark West
Cultivator Mark West’s garden in northeastern Santa Rosa burned down early Monday morning.

Despite being one of the first to lose his home and garden to the flames, breeder Subcool has spent much of the weekend attempting to raise funds for others who have been impacted. He was able to pull in $15,000 over the weekend through his Weed Nerd show. That money will be given to Patrick King of The Soil King Garden Center in Cloverdale. Currently King is operating a direct action fund to help impacted growers with immediately needed supplies.

Here's some more places readers can plug in to relief efforts:

Community Funds



  • California Food Banks
  • Cash collections are being done at CBCB in Berkeley and Phytologie in Oakland.
  • KindPeoples in Santa Cruz will be collecting needed items which will be transported north to relief centers. Please donate clean blankets, towels, toiletries, nonperishable food items and pet supplies to KindPeoples locations at 3600 Soquel Avenue and 140 Dubois in Santa Cruz. SC Labs is also accepting donations in Santa Cruz.

Please help if you can! #sonomastrong

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  • CannaCraft has announced a portion of all proceeds from sales of CannaCraft products will go to the Red Cross.

CannaCraft has also donated 12,000 square feet of its office space to the American Red Cross to use as its Regional Headquarters for Northern California fire relief. The American Red Cross is already moving people, supplies and equipment into the CannaCraft headquarters in Santa Rosa, with operations being staged from the site beginning immediately.

Two hundred American Red Cross volunteers based at CannaCraft will be coordinating 24-hour relief efforts for the Northern California fires. The team will be responsible for running the administrative and logistical side of the operation, staffing shelters, making sure they have the supplies they need and setting up new shelters as needed.

  • The Golden Tarp awards director and Wonderland Nursery owner Kevin Jodrey is opening his seed bank free of charge to anyone who needs to store genetics.

  • California brand Bloom Farms will provide one meal to Redwood Empire Food Bank for every Bloom Farms purchase.
  • Harborside will host a Team Cannabis, fire relief fundraiser Thursday, October 26th from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at EVB (1740 Telegraph Ave, Oakland). They are currently collecting sponsors and donations. Email dwalton@iflrish.com.
  • Medical cannabis delivery company Sava will donate $5 from every order placed through Friday.
  • San Francisco dispensary Bloom Room is also sending $5 to the Red Cross for every Red Beard Farms flowers order.


  • Award-winning grower Mean Gene is auctioning off some very closely held, valuable cannabis Emerald Mountain Legacy seeds, via his Instagram page. The auction ends Friday with all proceeds going to Mendocino fire relief.
  • And award-winning extract-makers Moonshine Melts is also holding an auction this week.

Hearing of more cannabis industry relief efforts? Email us at ddowns@sfchronicle.com and we will list them. Bookmark this page and check back for updates. For more on how to help with general relief efforts, click 'How you can help people affected by the North Bay fires (or get help if you are an evacuee)'.