Is it possible to rebuild Lytton with BC Bud? On June 30, 2021, a wildfire swept through Lytton, British Columbia, destroying most of the town’s infrastructure and homes. The entire village was evacuated. When the ashes cooled, villagers found that 97% of the town had vanished. Two people died during the wildfire. The B.C. government announced $18 million of taxpayer money to rebuild, but progress has been slow and bureaucratic.
But what if there was a better alternative? What if rebuilding Lytton with BC Bud was a real possibility?
Rebuilding Lytton with BC Bud
When the COVID pandemic hit, some distilleries switched production to hand sanitizer to combat the supply shortage. When fires destroyed Lytton, many BC Bud farmers could have changed from high-THC medicine to low-THC hemp. Of course, why would they do that? The mom-and-pop farms that comprise the BC Bud culture have been called violent gangs with no regulatory oversight.
Let says, in an alternate reality, Trudeau’s Liberals legalized cannabis instead of permitting corporations to cash in while criminalizing the mom-and-pop farms responsible for BC Bud. In this alt-reality, the B.C. cannabis farming community would have had the resources and infrastructure to step up and convert their production processes to make hempcrete.
Hempcrete is a bio-composite made of the inner woody core of the hemp-cannabis plant. It is a lightweight alternative to insulating material. Better than carbon neutral, it is carbon positive and fire-resistant. There’s no possibility of mould, and it’s earthquake-proof and recyclable.
A hemp house is not a pie-in-the-sky idea. Hempcrete may not be industry standard, but that’s why it’s crucial to rebuild Lytton with BC Bud. Show the world (and the rest of the country) how to build a sustainable economy without carbon taxes and government overreach.
Government Bureaucracy Too Slow
The fire that destroyed Lytton happened a year ago. But as of this writing, many residents are still wondering when they can move back. Lytton homeowner Denise O’Connor was insured for something like this, but she says there’s been no communication from insurance adjusters or government bureaucrats.
She tweeted a photo of her property where in ten months, nothing had changed. When asked about the rebuilding, she says, “What rebuilding? There’s no rebuilding.”
When asked about this, Emergency Management B.C. stated, “The province is unaware of any reason insurance providers cannot immediately commence debris removal on insured properties, and insured property owners should engage with their providers on this matter.”
“We heard from Premier Horgan right after the fire that they would be here to help and that they’re going to rebuild this wonderful community,” Denise O’Connor said. “The Coquihalla was rebuilt and opened within weeks, the railway, the First Nation lands are cleared. What’s going on?”
What’s going on is typical government bureaucracy. Better at spending money than providing results. And since taxpayers can never withdraw their funds in protest (like they can with corporations), the cycle of waste and inefficiency continues.
How to Rebuild Lytton with BC Bud
There’s more to cannabis than smoking it and receiving medical benefits. There’s more to hemp than CBD supplements. Cannabis/hemp ranks up there as one of the most versatile plants. Cannabis plant material can make plastic, fabric, concrete, and fuel.
All it takes is some political willpower to challenge the unconstitutional Cannabis Act.
Bernie Fandrich, chair of the local chamber of commerce, understands the potential. “There’s a few of us who are working very hard to formulate a plan for the future,” he says.
Fandrich is thinking of harnessing the heat and converting it to energy. Located at the meeting point for the Fraser and the Thompson rivers, Lytton routinely breaks records as the hottest spot in Canada.
But others are arguably more grounded in their approach. Gary Abbott is the local fire chief and was the first on the ground to fight the fire long before the province got around to help. He is also a licensed micro-cannabis farmer.
B.C. Craft Farmers Co-Op Volunteer Secretary David Hurford believes in rebuilding Lytton with BC Bud. “What’s going to get people back to Lytton?” He asks, “Jobs!”
“I guess the silver lining of only having 70 farmers approved in B.C. is we can build in all of this culture right from the beginning. A culture of workplace safety, of environmental stewardship. A culture of high-quality products, testing, organic growing, and regenerative farming that gives back to the earth.”
Rebuilding Lytton with BC Bud
Lytton was a First Nations settlement before the discovery of gold brought European immigrants to the valley. When the gold rush ended and a highway made passing through Lytton unnecessary, tourism became the golden goose.
But an economy, even a small one like Lytton’s, should never rely on a single staple resource. And while tourism will likely remain a large part of their economy, there’s no reason to neglect the critical role BC Bud can play.
Rebuilding Lytton with BC Bud means showing the world what cannabis can do. It’s not just a fun recreational activity or a life-saving medicine. It’s a staple resource that can be the foundation of our economy. We don’t need to wreck the planet by producing plastic, fabric, concrete, and fuel when cannabis can make all those goods while staying carbon positive.
Fandrich said, “I think what’s going to happen – we are going to become a model community for North America.”
He was, of course, talking about converting heat into energy. But the same could be said for turning hemp into fuel.