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Can Marijuana Damaged by California Wildfires be Salvaged?

Image Courtesy of Jeff The 420 Chef

Dozens of marijuana farms have been destroyed during the most recent spate of wildfires to rip through California, leaving many growers without product to sell to the adult use cannabis retail stores set to open in January. A lot of these growers used their life savings to grow their crop, a crop that they could not insure thanks to federal law, even though their farms are completely legal under state law.

But there may be a way to salvage some of the damaged crop according to Jeff The 420 Chef, an author and chef who was dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast. A process he invented several years ago may be the key to allowing farmers who had crops damaged by smoke, soot or Phos-Chek from the wildfires the ability to save some of their investment.

“I invented the FreeLeaf™ cannabis deep cleaning process 5 years ago so I could create clean and virtually tasteless oils and butters to use in my edibles,” Jeff told The Marijuana Times. “Several months back, I met a grower who challenged me with cannabis that had been smoked in a smoker and I was able to totally remove the smokey scent and taste. I’m not sure if the process will work with the smoke and other surface contaminants from the fires, but it’s worth a try. If my theory is correct and my process can indeed remove all the surface contaminants, it could save the growers a lot of money.”

Jeff told us his process takes 5 days and that the chances of salvaging useable cannabis are “fairly good.” “If the process works, however, growers and dispensaries need to know that the final product will be best sold as a pre-cleaned/pre-decarbed, virtually odorless cannabis that we call FreeLeaf™,” Jeff said. “It will also be a significantly lighter product in weight, since we remove chlorophyll and all the moisture from the bud. The good news is that the final product, FreeLeaf™, is a really clean smoke and is also instantly ready to be infused to make light tasting cannaoil and cannabutter to make edibles.”

If some of the damaged cannabis can be saved it would go a long way to helping a lot of farmers who really have nowhere else to turn for assistance. It would also help suppress any price spikes that could hit California cannabis consumers as a result of a reduced legal cannabis supply.

If you are a California farmer who has a cannabis crop harmed by the wildfires, and would like the opportunity to test Jeff’s theory let us know. Jeff is actively looking to help. Please send an email to info@marijuanatimes.com Attn: Jeff the 420 Chef.


  1. so far phos-chek has only killed fish – if it goes wrong for humans, the US Forest Service is good for the settlement because they have certified that Phos-chek is safe for fire fighters, citizens and the environment. I am sure that the law firm Erin Brokovitch works for will represent you if you get sick or die using phos-chek treated marijuana.