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Oregon Marijuana Farmers Learn Rules And Regulations

File photo of a marijuana farm operated by the University of Mississippi.
File photo of a marijuana farm operated by the University of Mississippi.

Pot farmers have to follow the same rules and regulations as the rest of the agriculture industry. That was a key takeaway Wednesday at a workshop for budding marijuana growers in Salem.

Even before it was legal, marijuana was a major cash crop in some parts of the Northwest. But the end of pot prohibition comes with a new challenge for commercial-scale growers: how to comply with the rules regarding things like wastewater or the disposal of hazardous materials.

Steve Wainwright of Gresham, Oregon, said he's hoping to expand his small medical marijuana grow operation now that recreational use is legal for adults. But he said the workshop showed him that he has a lot to learn.

"The one I found that's going to be a really big hurdle is water use,” he said. “I didn't realize the stipulations of senior and junior rights and how actually controlled irrigation water is."

The workshop was sponsored by the Oregon Farm Bureau. The organization said more than 1,000 people attended.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.