Hemp fires claim thousands in damaged inventories in Illinois, Oregon

Hemp fires claim thousands in damaged inventories in Illinois, Oregon

Two hemp-related fires have ravaged locations across the U.S. and caused major damage, according to reports.

In Marion County, Oregon, a fire at a hemp drying facility on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed this week claims that an Illinois farm burned up $1.4 million in hemp and CBD inventories after being contracted to dry the crop.

The Chicago Tribune reports that High Plains Grains, an Illinois hemp farm, was hired late last year by a Wisconsin hemp growing farm to dry its 84,000 pound yield of harvested wet hemp. [1]

However, the Winslow, Ill. company allegedly burned all of the crop in a dryer accident after it received the shipment, losing inventories to the tune of nearly a million and a half dollars. [1]

Lake County Growers is the name of the Wisconsin firm that allegedly lost its crop to the fires, said in the complaint that the industrial dryers being used began to smoke and flame two weeks into the drying process. [1]

The Chicago Tribune reports that across much of the country, farms have had difficulty finding drying facilities for their wet harvested hemp.

After the hemp is harvested and dried, much of it gets sent to processing facilities where CBD and other compounds are extracted from it.

CBD is a relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, that is non-intoxicating and useful for a number of common ailments and problems.

People use CBD for anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain and even forms of epilepsy, but industrial hemp is also used for textiles, construction materials, rope and other manufacturing.

While Lake County Growers faced trouble in Illinois, another recent fire ravaged the West Coast.

According to the Salem Statesman Journal, as many as 40 firefighters were dispatched to the Oregon fire where hemp drying equipment made it difficult to fend off the flames. [3]

Reports indicate that two of the firemen sustained minor injuries in the efforts to combat the damage. [3]

Despite the ladders’ best efforts, the hemp facility lost an estimated $750,000 in hemp inventories and property damage to the drying machines and surrounding buildings, according to CBS News affiliate KOIN 6. [2]

It remains to be seen whether hemp drying facilities are more flammable than typical buildings and similar industrial facilities.

Those interested in the CBD and industrial hemp manufacturing industries will have to stay tuned to learn more in the future whether these stories accumulate as hemp farming and processing grows more ubiquitous.


[1] https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-hemp-farming-lawsuit-20200221-lrmgvwiksjdjtbrq3mzg5tgscq-story.html

[2] https://www.koin.com/local/marion-county/fire-causes-750k-damage-at-hemp-drying-facility/

[3] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/more-than-40-firefighters-battle-fire-at-marion-county-hemp-drying-facility/ar-BB10Ldbb