OREGON: Depending on who’s talking, a 20-acre hemp farm about 10 miles south of Grants Pass is either the harbinger of a new industry that could help save rural Oregon – or an existential threat to local marijuana farmers just as they’re anticipating boom times.
Hemp, the non-intoxicating version of cannabis sativa, has long been a big part of the marijuana culture, celebrated for its wide variety of uses and status as a fellow victim of federal prohibition.
But now that both hemp and marijuana are coming out of the legal shadows in Oregon, they’re suddenly in conflict – and state legislators may be about to side with the much more well-established marijuana industry.
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would temporarily halt hemp production and force that farm near Grants Pass to yank its plants out of the ground, albeit with compensation from the state. The bill would also put stricter controls on hemp in areas of the state – such as southern Oregon – where marijuana farms are plentiful.