Topic: Growing

America wants our hemp

  Jackson County takes the crown as the hemp-growing capital of Oregon, but many local residents wonder where all those fields of flower will be sold. “The vast majority of Oregon’s production is going out of state,” said Pete Gendron, president of Oregon SunGrowers’ Guild. “We just don’t have sufficient production capacity to handle the load.” In fact, other states are clamoring for Southern Oregon’s hemp because of the high quality of the flower and rich flavor profile. Gendron estimates that 70% of the crop will leave the state, partly because Oregon doesn’t have as many processing facilities as Colorado.

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‘Blasting’ mold into green gold

Vaping is in the crosshairs of health officials, raising questions about how closely cannabis products sold in Oregon are regulated, particularly the lack of testing for mold that has decimated crops in the fall. Brent Kenyon, a local cannabis expert who runs Oregon Original and Kenyon and Associates, said the recreational cannabis industry already has enough oversight, and mold can be safely resolved through the use of extraction equipment. He said the problem is the lack of oversight of products derived from nicotine or hemp, which has become Jackson County’s biggest crop. Kenyon, who sat on the Oregon’s Marijuana Rules

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The alphabet soup of hemp

Sky-high hemp prices are expected to fall back to Earth this fall, but that doesn’t mean the green rush is headed for a crash landing. “We’re looking at around $18,000 an acre — last year we were four times that amount,” predicted “Pioneer” Pete Gendron, president of Oregon SunGrown Growers’ Guild. Despite the steep drop, he said it’s still not so low that most farmers won’t make a profit, and he said seed producers are ready to pivot to the next big thing derived from this cousin of cannabis. Other industry leaders don’t think prices will fall as low as

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Cream of the crops

Hemp has exploded into an agricultural colossus in Jackson County in just the past year, with more acres planted in this cousin of cannabis than pears and grapes combined. “There hasn’t been such a changed use in agriculture in Jackson County in recent memory,” said Gordon Jones, assistant professor for Oregon State University Extension Service. “You’d probably have to go back to the start of the pear industry to see this kind of change.” With hemp fields popping up seemingly everywhere, Jackson County has the most hemp grows of the 36 counties in Oregon at 8,578.9 acres. Josephine County is

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Managing the surplus

Matt Miller’s family has farmed pot in Oregon since well before it became legal. But since the market flooded after recreational use was approved by state voters in 2014, prices have plummeted, putting strain on the operation he runs in Takilma with his wife, Rhea. Oregon’s lush climate and weed-tolerant culture have long resulted in large and potent harvests. Seeking to fold black market growers into its budding legal industry, the state has distributed licenses liberally, leaving Oregon saddled with an enormous surplus of legal cannabis — more than its population of 4 million would ever be able to smoke.

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Medford man proud of his cannabis closeups

“You’re never too old to try something new,” says Ron Bloom, a Medford resident who took up cannabis growing at the age of 72. Flash forward a few months, and Bloom is like a kid in a candy store, showing off photos of his buds. He’s especially taken with one shot, a macro image of a super sticky flower that seems to show a little face looking up at a THC waterfall. OK, maybe you have to have smoked some really good weed to see it, but you can’t blame him for being proud. The bud — and the photo

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Grow bags: an alternative to plastic pots

Many growers who opt for containers have switched to using grow bags (often referred to as Smart Pots) as an alternative to plastic pots. Many grow bags are made of sturdy, breathable fabric with durable stitching. They come in a variety of sizes, and some have handles that make it easier to move around heavy plants. Because root development, and thus plant size, is restricted in any container, be sure to select grow bags for final plantings that are big enough to accommodate the size of the mature plant you want. Patrick Scroggins of In and Out Ag Services in

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Bowman sues robbers for $17 million

A licensed marijuana grower who endured a violent home-invasion robbery has filed a civil suit against the men involved in the brutal attack. James Bowman, who was severely injured by eight men wearing Ninja Turtles masks who stormed his home and loaded a U-Haul with Bowman’s crop in December 2016, has filed a lawsuit against the men, all of whom have either been charged or convicted in the crime. The lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court seeks $17 million against eight named defendants that Bowman says are culpable in his battery and assault. He intends to argue that he’s

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Biochar is good for cannabis and the climate

Biochar was used by farmers in the Amazon Basin more than 2,500 years ago, and now it is becoming a hip commodity in the cannabis industry. And while it has many benefits as a soil amendment for cannabis growers, biochar may be a remedy for climate change, as well. Biochar is charcoal produced from plant matter. It is made using a process called pyrolysis, which involves placing biomass into a special oven and heating it in the presence of little or no oxygen. The final product can capture carbon and lock it into the soil. That last part is the

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Inside Belushi’s Private Vault

If you ever wanted to taste pot from a movie star’s private stash, now’s your chance. Famous actor, singer and community supporter Jim Belush grows his own bud on his 93-acre spread along the Rogue River near Eagle Point and sells under the label “Belushi’s Private Vault.” Belushi describes a spiritual connection to the marijuana on his 22,000-square-foot, state-licensed grow, bathed in Southern Oregon’s sunshine. “I feel like that bee that is brought in and held until I get everything about it,” Belushi said. “It has come really deep into my heart, my body and my spiritual nature. It’s brought

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Summer 2020 TOC:

  • Cannabis Entrepreneurs: The women behind ‘Ladies of Paradise’
  • Terroir: Inside the science of tasty bud
  • Cannabis Cooking: Canna-balls styled after Alice’s ‘Brownies’
  • Retail: Home delivery gets a boost
  • Profile: River City Retail has a winning formula
  • Retail: Pandemic fuels pot-buying explosion
  • Religion: Cannabis for churchgoers
  • Growing: Hardy Seeds in Ashland shares why hemp loves company
  • COVID-19: Hemp farming – ‘It’s a lot safer than working at McDonalds’
  • Retail: Drive-thru bud at La Mota

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