The new cash crop in Oregon

The cultivation and use of cannabis is legal in Oregon and is now grown commercially.

Oregon followed Colorado and Washington State in making the recreational use of cannabis legal and since then the cultivation of it has become big business. The ranch where I was staying is currently experimenting with the propagation of the plant and I was shown around their set up. There are many varieties with the most popular being Sativa and Indica, and it is this one that commands a higher price and the one they are focusing on. In the town of Bend in central Oregon with a population of about 80,000 there is already 14 stores exclusively selling pot. The price for the premium organic product is high, especially outside the September and October glut period when the outdoor crops are harvested. Outdoor product is known as ‘dirt-weed’: the set-up I was shown is growing indoors, a premium organic Indica sensimilla under special LEDs. The farmer I spoke to doesn’t smoke pot himself because he’s not really interested and hasn’t the time while running a busy farm with 31 horses along with his core business combining various silica and calcium powder ingredients to make the compound used to make plaster casts used in medical and dental applications – but that’s another story.
I was interested in the medicinal use of cannabis oil but apparently the recreational product is currently much bigger business. The science of the horticulture and propagation of the plants has captured the scientific mind of my host, and of course, the realistic possibility of making around US$2,500 a pound is very motivating.
Just a final note, a few have asked, no pot was offered to me or was it requested. The cultivation is in the early stages and the tour was centred around the horticultural and the commercial aspects.

Author: Tony Richards

This was originally a travel journal to share with family and friends but when home again it became a general blog about anything that came to mind – but now I'm travelling again, this time wandering the streets of Italy – do check in. Ciao baby!

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