Stakeholder Perceptions of the Impact of Cannabis Production on the Southern Oregon Food System
The passage of Measure 91 (Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, 2014) in Oregon legalized the production of cannabis for recreational sale. Since legalization, there has been a significant increase in cannabis production across the agricultural landscape of southern Oregon. Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley now hosts 314 licensed recreational cannabis growers who share a changing agricultural landscape with orchards, vineyards, vegetable farms, seed industries, and ranches. The Rogue Valley Food System Network (RVFSN) convened focus groups across the region to explore the perceived impacts of the cannabis industry on the food system. These impacts were coded and categorized for use in the development of future research questions. Stakeholders identified environmental impacts, land use policy, agricultural best practices, water resources, financial opportunities, resource competition, and a changing cultural landscape as areas in need of further research. This research brief informs work by lawmakers, land use planners, researchers, managers, and farmers in developing research, policies, and projects to address challenges and realize opportunities associated with the changing agricultural landscape in states where cannabis production is expanding.
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