Southern Oregon has become a hotbed of cannabis farms, and the new growers are butting heads with those who grow food.
That’s why a network of food producers have paired up with Southern Oregon University to research the cannabis industry’s effects on the Rogue Valley food system.
SOU professor and environmental scientist Vincent Smith is leading the research. He says the main point of the study is to gather objective information, not to smear the cannabis industry.
“We’re not looking at negative impacts of the cannabis industry,” he said. “In fact, the cannabis industry is undoubtedly having positive impacts on the economy.”
He says the Rogue Valley Food System Network does not plan to pursue any policy initiatives, largely because it is made up of a diverse group of people with different policy goals.
Smith has finished gathering qualitative information for the study after speaking to key players in the community,