Marijuana And Hemp Growers Duke It Out In Oregon Legislature

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.

 

Colorado Hemp Field Coming Into Bloom In Boulder County

COLORADO:  Veronica Carpio stood at the center of her Boulder County hemp field, surrounded by mature plants that proved their resilience this summer by growing taller and bushier in response to a nasty hail storm.

“We’ve got massive amounts of pollen coming off these plants,” Carpio said recently as she swept a partially-closed fist along the top of a hemp stalk and yellow powder billowed from the plant. (The businesswoman and activist won’t get a contact high touching these plants as hemp is marijuana’s non-mind altering cannabis cousin and has only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabidol.) “This pollen could be a nightmare for marijuana grows.”

In coming weeks, Carpio, who owns Colorado Hemp Coffee, plans to host periodic tours of her flowering outdoor hemp field. Hemp enthusiasts can find out about the tours via Carpio’s Facebook page and business websites (coloradohempcoffee.com orFacebook.com/HempCoffee).

“I want to know what’s going to happen with the bees,” said Carpio, her forearms caked with botanical dust. Should that pollen come into contact with female marijuana plants, Carpio said, those plants would produce many seeds among the THC-rich buds.