SALEM — Marijuana growers worry that Oregon’s emerging hemp industry could take the buzz out of their recreational and medicinal weed.
Some lawmakers hope to clamp down on the state’s embryonic industrial hemp crop amid concerns that through cross-pollination hemp could harm outdoor medical marijuana grows, particularly in Southern Oregon.
Hemp — a cousin of marijuana that has much lower levels of pot’s psychoactive component, THC — can ruin valuable marijuana crops through cross-pollination by lowering marijuana’s THC content, pot advocates say.
Hemp fiber can be used to make cloth, rope and other products. And, like marijuana, hemp, consumed as an oil, has medicinal value, hemp supporters say. But you can’t get high from smoking it. Hemp was first approved for cultivation by Oregon lawmakers in 2009, but a long-standing ban at the federal level blocked legal hemp grows. [Read more at the Eugene Register-Guard]