How The Owners Are Handling Cannabis Fire


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How The Owners Are Handling Cannabis Fire
How The Owners Are Handling Cannabis Fire

BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — A Brandon growing facility went up in flames. The fire destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cannabis.

Now as fire officials investigate, the cleanup process begins.

While the building is still standing, the owner of Shangri-La Cultivation says the fire was devastating.

Inside, there’s close to a million dollars worth of damages.

And because of what was grown inside this Brandon business, cleanup will look a lot different than with other fires.

“With a regular fire, you’re usually discarding burnt wood fixtures, equipment, materials. In this case, it is a medical product that is a substance that the federal government looks as a controlled substance,” says T.J. Cameron.

The Fire Marshall showed up to help with the investigation.
Cameron says this is the first cannabis business in South Dakota to have a fire, which means for everyone involved, this is uncharted territory.

“We just hope that we can use this experience for the state and for the city, that if this has to happen to anybody else, maybe a protocol can be built from it that helps them understand how to handle it,” says Cameron.

Firefighting equipment protects crews from not only the flames but also from the cannabis that was burning inside.

Cameron says while none of the product is salvageable, his team will go through a tedious process to make sure no mind-altering substances can be obtained from the trash.

“You know, usually it’s grinding it up, mix it with certain materials that dilute anything that would, you know, the THC or any other chemical that would affect, you know, the human body,” says Cameron.

Despite the loss, the owner still has his sense of humor

“I did joke a little bit with the fire department this morning that it’s a good thing McDonald’s is across the street and the gas stations next door because if anybody comes out after the heat and flames with a little bit of the munchies, we’ve got plenty of resources nearby,” says Cameron.

While the building is insured, the product inside – which was worth about a half million dollars- was not insured.

It can’t be insured because Cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

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