Evicted MMJ Grower Wants Same Legal Protections as Farmers

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Oregon is facing an interesting question tied to its medical marijuana law: Should evicted cannabis cultivators be granted the same legal protections as businesspeople who grow other types of plants?

The issue has been raised in a lawsuit filed by a landlord, Philip Burnett, who evicted a medical cannabis grower, Steven Travis Maurer, from a warehouse in Portland recently.

The grower is seeking financial compensation because he was forced to move his cannabis plants before they were ready to be harvested. Under Oregon law, farmers in general are entitled to finish harvesting their crops in the same rented space, even after eviction. Maurer thinks that law should apply to medical cannabis companies, too.

Burnett filed suit because he wants a judge to declare that marijuana growers aren’t entitled to the same protections as other farmers. He argues that Maurer’s plants weren’t sown in the ground – they were in movable pots inside the warehouse, which is standard for indoor marijuana grows.

In an email to Burnett at the end of January, Maurer’s lawyer asserted that his client “reserves the right to bring a claim for damages,” according to The Oregonian.

The case is still pending.