Topic: Local


Hemp goes to college

Jackson County’s biggest cash crop is getting a boost from science this year as part of an experimental project by Oregon State University to find the best strains of hemp and the most environmentally friendly methods of growing the plant. “Can we understand how to grow in a way that does not create so much waste, specifically plastic waste?” asked Richard Roseberg, director of the 84-acre Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center facility on Hanley Road. The research program is growing about 35,000 hemp plants on an acre and half to understand the best way to grow in our local

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Jackson County Pot Sales

Jackson County pot sales rocket to new heights

Sales of cannabis punched through the stratosphere in May, soaring 55% over last May and eclipsing April’s banner month in Jackson County, based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. “I definitely think that we’ve had a lot of people who have come in kind of stressed out and need to relax,” said C.J. Butler, budtender at Emerald Triangle Dispensary in Medford. “Everybody seems to have been very inquisitive lately, looking for a way to chill out.” Butler said many customers have expressed interest in the health benefits of cannabis, particularly focusing on edibles. Many customers are looking for

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Two sought in hemp burglary attempt

Two men are being sought following a failed burglary at a hemp storage facility near Rogue River earlier this week, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, employees of the facility showed up to work and noticed damage to the building, located on East Evans Creek Road, said sheriff’s office spokesman Mike Moran. Soon after, the employees reportedly found two men wearing camouflage attempting to load storage containers of processed hemp into a vehicle. Moran described the vehicle as a “sedan.” “(The employees) went and confronted them and chased them off into the woods, but

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Bud and booze sales setting records

Booze and pot sales are hitting a high note during the pandemic, with sales of cannabis up about 25% in both March and April in Jackson County, and retail alcohol sales rising 48% last month. “A population that sedates itself is less likely to revolt,” quipped Medford City Councilor Clay Bearnson, paraphrasing a comic strip. According to figures from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Jackson County had $4,259,465 in cannabis sales in April compared to $3,062,381 last year. In March, the county saw $3,868,949 in cannabis sales compared to 3,049,153 in the same month last year. Josephine County also posted

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Pot tax money gives struggling businesses some relief

A new $125,000 grant program to help struggling businesses in Medford was so popular that it was effectively used up as fast as it became available Monday morning. “The $125,000 was gone in 15 minutes,” said Medford City Councilor Tim D’Alessandro. “We’re really happy we could inject this little bit into the economy.” He said the city hasn’t processed all of the applications yet to determine whether the businesses that applied were qualified, but the city received enough applications to exceed the dollar value of the grant program. The money for the Small Business Assistance Grant Program came from cannabis

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Pot tax revenue in helpers’ hands

Local organizations helping people who are struggling through the pandemic received $100,000 in marijuana tax money Wednesday from the city of Medford. The city will distribute the relief funds, derived from a portion of its marijuana tax revenue, to ACCESS, Center for NonProfit Legal Services, Community Works, Consumer Credit Counseling of Southern Oregon, Hearts with a Mission, Greenway Food Distribution Program, La Clinica, Maslow Project, Mercy’s Gate, Salvation Army, Senior Food Assistance Program, Set Free Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul, and Youth 71Five. “We have seen such a huge increase in demand for our services,” said Bill Ihle, executive director

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Bud-trimming machines may trim jobs

Those long chatty hours of well-paying bud-trimming work may be slipping away, thanks to (surprise!) machines. On the upside, these machines seem to do wonders for growers, with a device called the Buckmaster Pro able buck and trim many pounds an hour. At a big launch party demonstration in November at their White City shop, OM Extracts showed off their Oregon Education Center for automated bucking and trimming, promoting the Triminator XL Dry Bud Trimmer, which they call the fastest in the world. Triminator, which has been manufacturing the machines in Grass Valley, California, starting a decade ago, says the

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Ethics of hemp

Ethics are a big part of what hempsters talk about when they get together. Ethics of using plastic sheeting in hemp fields. Ethics of GMOs and synthetic chemicals. Ethics in business dealings. And many of those discussions were front and center in Ashland last September when 300 hemp growers, business people and others attended the third-annual Hemp University at Southern Oregon University’s Stevenson Union. There’s a lot of work to be done and money to be made in cannabis and hemp, but Misty Burris of the Grange and Oregon Institute for a Better Way emphasized that we mustn’t forget to

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Learn as you grow

Despite growing pains in 2019 that saw harvesting and production setbacks for many hemp growers, the industry in Oregon continues to soar in the number of operations registered for 2020 with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the amount of farm acreage set aside for hemp crops. Meanwhile, hemp growers in Southern Oregon say they are applying lessons they learned last year to the upcoming growing season. As of early March, ODA had already processed more than four times the number of growers who had registered by the same time in 2019. “We’ve got about 1,200 people in the queue

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Farmer talks about his award-winning hemp flower

Alex Bizeau might have the perfect personality and work ethic for a hemp farmer. He strolls the fields of his smartly named Victory Banner Farm in Talent, looking over the cover crop of winter — vetch, rye, clover — talking about how he’s in the first generation of farmers of a newly legalized crop, and all the growers are basically laying down the rules and strategies for doing it right and making it pay. They’re still getting the bugs out of the system, literally. Cucumber beetles, russet mites and (the worst) aphids. They didn’t come the first couple years but,

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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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