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DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: What Is The Most Important Issue Craft Cannabis Farmers Face Today In Southern Oregon?

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Happy CANNA-versary, Oregon! That’s right, it’s already been four years since our FAV plant became legal on July 1st, 2015. As the tip of the spear in the evolution of the cannabis industry, it’s time for the #southernoregoncannabisfam to step back and reevaluate what is happening to our plant, our industry, and perhaps most significantly: our cannabis community. To be blunt, it has gotten a bit “catty” here in the Emerald Triangle as long-time players shuffle for position in a brand new market and scramble to keep their livelihood intact while grasping at any semblance of the dreams that brought them through the blood, sweat and tears to this point.

Let’s not forget that prohibition of cannabis has not been easy on the world and its inhabitants, so we must pay our respects to the warriors who protected this plant with life, limb and liberty. These heroes, some of which are still alive and participating in legal cannabis, deserve to have a say in how legalization unfolds for the people. And we deserve some of their wisdom. The message of cannabis will not reach its full potential without respecting its grassroots. 

Since humbly I stand on the shoulders of the longtime cannabis soldiers here in one of the longest-surviving cannabis communities that actually thrived during prohibition, I wanted to ask some of the people actually making it happen about the problems they face as the business of cannabis rolls forward unaware of and detached from the traditional community and culture it could be crushing.

Somewhat in order of importance—there were ties—here are the topics that I saw arise from the survey put out on the @localsmokeradio and @roogrostein Instagram pages. Feel free to check out those threads to see or continue the conversation.

Most Important Issue (in case you hadn’t heard):

  • Cross Pollination from Hemp Males/Uneducated New Hemp Farmers

2nd Place Problems:

  • Market Values
  • Banking Issues/280e Tax Law

Let’s Not Forget:

  • Lack of Sustainable Practices
  • Little Hemp Regulation vs. Strict OLCC Regulation
  • Compliance Costs/Burdens

Things that also matter:

  • Changing Rules
  • Finding Quality Employees

Below are just a few quotes that stood out from the Instagram threads on the survey posts:

Kelliewhitefeather: “So much! Banking, constantly changing compliance rules, sustainable practices, the list is ongoing.”

Oldgoldgardens: “Hmmm, imma have to say either banking or cross pollination from the thousands of hemp farms. Most, not all, of these hemp farms either a) couldn’t make it as a rec farm, b) still grow cannabis hidden in their fields without regulation, or c) only care about gettin rich.”

Gooddogfarms_oregon_: “HEMP! . . . Many people who never grew or used cannabis moving here to make money and not respecting the culture and the plant.”

Cultivationtracker: “Market values, being in compliance all the way around and keeping good records… Also keeping good people–often hard to find farmers who love farming and are able to work long hours in the fields.”

Ananda.farms: “The price per lb.”

Wickedganjafarmer: “Hemp cross-pollination is going to be a big one this year.. Lots of work goes into good, sungrown cannabis and then to have it seeded out. Well…”

Th3_budtender: “Large operations with large quantities under pricing the market.”

Yo_yo_hanna: “I think it’s trying to run a small business with the ridiculous overhead that Metrc and regulation changes add to the cost of doing business.”

 

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