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Wine grape growers in Oregon are both fighting and embracing legal marijuana, giving clear signals that some are embracing the new times while others are rooted in their old ways. While some vineyards are fighting legal cannabis growing neighbors, others are starting to grow cannabis themselves alongside their vines.

Earlier this year, a vintner and another property owner both filed a lawsuit in Yamhill County to prevent a neighbor from growing and processing cannabis on their land, arguing that the smell could affect their grapes, in the same way that other strong smelling plants like eucalyptus could. Later, the vintner was successful in appealing the licensing for the small grow and process operation, both because of the smell and over concerns that wastewater management might be endangered if an earthquake were to hit the area, considered to be another threat to the crops. Commissioners agreed that it was risky and expressed a preference for marijuana grow and process operations to take place n industrial- and commercially-zoned land, rather than land zoned for farms. This mindset will certainly be a challenge for growers who would like to grow their crops in more rural areas, with more traditional agricultural methods. Commissioners voted 2-1 on the appeal, with the lone dissenter stating, “It really is like having to pick and choose what products or what farm crops we’re going to thumbs-up or thumbs-down.”

This mindset will certainly be a challenge for growers who would like to grow their crops in more rural areas, with more traditional agricultural methods. Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of denying the grow license, with the lone dissenter stating, “It really is like having to pick and choose what products or what farm crops we’re going to thumbs-up or thumbs-down.”

On the flipside, some wineries are embracing the new legality and working towards a future where people can buy and smoke weed while touring vineyards. Some vineyard owners are ripping out vines to lease land to pot growers, while others are starting to learn the complex process of growing themselves–an agricultural alchemy not too different from the one utilized by vintners to create desirable qualities in grapes bound to be pressed into wine–talking about a future for “wine and weed” tourism. There is significant potential for wineries to buy into and excel in the newly legal

There is significant potential for wineries to buy into and excel in the newly legal industry. Those who don’t will miss out on what seems to have the potential for a harmonious, and highly profitable, relationship.