The report in Buzzfeed details the growing antipathy by established agricultural produces in Oregon. We have already read similar reports from Sonoma CA and expect to see more of the same from other states soon.
The dispute is an indication of potential tensions, cultural and agricultural, that could arise as the grape and cannabis industries are forced to coexist on the wine-saturated West Coast. Legal recreational cannabis sales begin in California next year, which means the Golden State will be the nation’s epicenter for both grape and cannabis production. California brings in an estimated $34 billion annually from its wine industry, responsible for about 60% of the US wine market. Cannabis sales are expected to hit $6 billion in California by 2020 — and that’s despite policies that make it harder to make money on weed than wine, like higher tax rates and a federal prohibition that prevents, among other things, export to other states or countries. So cannabis earnings in the region could catch up to wine’s over time. And considering that grapes grow best in the same warm weather that helps sun-grown marijuana thrive, issues around grapes and cannabis, from land-use disputes to fear of tainted crops to consumer competition, aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.