Cannabis boom creates fears of increasing illicit trade | State NewsPosted by On


GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — On a sunny spring day in Southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley, Mason Walker is showing off rows of neatly planted marijuana.

“We have a permanent trellising system that’s installed almost in a vineyard style,” Walker, co-owner of East Fork Cultivars, told Jefferson Public Radio. “We put labels up at the end of the rows so people know what they’re looking at, just like you might walk through the pinot noir section of a vineyard.”

On their 33-acre farm, Walker and a team grow one acre of marijuana and nine acres of USDA organic hemp, processed for CBD. Both Walker and the farm’s co-founder Aaron Howard have noticed a rapid increase of marijuana grown in the area in 2021.

“I first came to Southern Oregon in 2008 and a 48-plant garden was huge,” Howard says. “And now in 2021 there’s 80 acres at two thousand plants per acre. So, the scale is really hard for me to even wrap my head around and the impact on the local community is kind of mind-boggling to me.”

Cannabis has been grown in this corner of Oregon for decades. It’s a fixture of the region’s counter-culture past. But residents and public officials agree that this year is different for cannabis agriculture. The farms are bigger and so are the impacts on the surrounding rural communities.

“What I’m learning is that it’s actually people…

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — On a sunny spring day in Southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley, Mason Walker is showing off rows of neatly planted marijuana.

“We have a permanent trellising system that’s installed almost in a vineyard style,” Walker, co-owner of East Fork Cultivars, told Jefferson Public Radio. “We put labels up at the end of the rows so people know what they’re looking at, just like you might walk through the pinot noir section of a vineyard.”

On their 33-acre farm, Walker and a team grow one acre of marijuana and nine acres of USDA organic hemp, processed for CBD. Both Walker and the farm’s co-founder Aaron Howard have noticed a rapid increase of marijuana grown in the area in 2021.

“I first came to Southern Oregon in 2008 and a 48-plant garden was huge,” Howard says. “And now in 2021 there’s 80 acres at two thousand plants per acre. So, the scale is really hard for me to even wrap my head around and the impact on the local community is kind of mind-boggling to me.”

Cannabis has been grown in this corner of Oregon for decades. It’s a fixture of the region’s counter-culture past. But residents and public officials agree that this year is different for cannabis agriculture. The farms are bigger and so are the impacts on the surrounding rural communities.

“What I’m learning is that it’s actually people…



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