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Integra Atmospherically Controlled Packaging Helps Preserve Cannabis Tainted by Smoke and Ash from California Fires

January 30, 2022

As cannabis farmers battle to save their crops from raging California fires, the plants that are saved often need a little extra tender loving care after being exposed to the harsh elements.

Integra by Desiccare (Integra), a Las Vegas-based business, manufactures a variety of products from Integra BOOST® Packs to Integra Dry Buckets that help maintain the proper conditions for cannabis once the plants have been harvested. The products keep cannabis at proper moisture levels to prevent dryness and mold.

Humidity control products are especially important for cannabis that has been affected by smoke and ash from the California fires.

Integra General Manager Ben Blankenhorn was raised in California and understands how devasting these fires are. “It is so hard to see so many evacuated, properties and crops destroyed or in danger of ruin. At Integra, we want to help cannabis growers salvage as much as they can from this tragedy.”  

Ongoing wildfires burning across the state of California have scorched nearly 4.5 million acres or roughly four percent of the state’s nearly 100 million acres of land and have destroyed countless cannabis farms.

And those farmers whose product has survived the intense fires still face enormous challenges.

“Our property didn’t burn … but the tragedy is access, Santa Cruz County farmer Jeff Nordahl tells Marijuana Business Daily.

Nordahl explains that because of mandatory evacuation orders, the conditions make it difficult to irrigate the plants.

Other growers are worried that even if their farms are not destroyed by the flames, they could be damaged by smoke and ash.

“We have had really bad air quality, and the smoke is really, really thick,” said Amanda Reiman, vice president of community relations at Mendocino County cannabis distributor Flow Kana. Reiman told Marijuana Business Daily that toxic smoke from burning structures could cause marijuana crops to fail lab tests.

 In Nevada County in Northern California near Lake Tahoe, fewer licensed farmers have been affected by the fires, but Diana Gamzon, executive director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, explained the wildfire season traditionally stretches through November and her group is working diligently to educate farmers on how best to prepare.

“We’re staying vigilant, Gamzon said. “We’re watching and we’re keeping our fingers crossed as the season begins to wind down.”

Industry experts report that all too often cannabis plants that have survived the California fires are contaminated by smoke and ash.

Ngaio Bealum, a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert, recommends using a leaf blower to remove ash or perhaps a makeup brush if the grower doesn’t have many plants to deal with.

“Some folks say you rinse them with fresh water – THC does not dissolve in water – but too much moisture can lead to mold problems if you are not careful,” Bealum reports in the Sacramento News & Review.

The damage to marijuana crops from the fires and some of the inherent risks associated with sanitizing the crops illustrate the need for proper humidity control in storage once those measures have been completed.  

Integra manufactures a range of products that help keep cannabis fresh with proper moisture along with keeping them mold-free. 

Among the proprietary, patent-approved products are the Integra Dry Bucket, a five-gallon bucket that contains 30 200-gram desiccant packs. Each pack can absorb up to 158 percent of its weight in moisture and provides 50 days or more of moisture protection.

The desiccant packs reduce RH down to 50 percent but will not absorb below that level. This stops mold growth while preventing over drying.

The 200-gram desiccant packs are environmentally safe and can be disposed of as normal waste. The bucket itself can be used for curing up to four pounds of plant material. The lid comes with a safety latch and uses a soft O-ring to provide a supreme atmospheric barrier. In addition, they are odor resistant.

Integra also manufacturers Integra BOOST® Two-way Humidity Control Packs that control moisture in an enclosed area. Each Pack has a distinctive outer wrap for two-way humidity control. The company’s patented technology enables each pack, made with silica gel, to release or absorb moisture, maintaining relative humidity at levels between 55 and 62 percent in an air-sealed container.

The company also includes simple-to-read Replacement Indicator Cards with Integra BOOST® Packs. Each Card monitors the relative humidity (RH) and changes when humidity changes from the identified RH on the pack - 55 or 62 percent. Simply replace the old Integra BOOST® pack with a fresh one when the dot on the Replacement Indicator Card turns from pink to blue.

These Integra products are guaranteed effective in preserving the quality and prolonging the life of cannabis and are crucially important given the challenges the industry faces today from environmental disasters such as the California wildfires.

“Integra’s products offer safe, effective, and simple solutions to maintain the right balance for cannabis – whether it’s boosting humidity or removing excess moisture,” says Blankenhorn, “Growers have enough to worry about with the wildfires, and we’re here to take one of those worries away.”

By Bob Shemeligian

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