Oregon marijuana cultivators want industrial hemp kept far away from their grows, saying it could unintentionally pollinate their crop.
The opposition stems from approval of a 25-acre industrial hemp field in an area known for cultivation of high-grade medical marijuana, according to the Oregonian.
Cannabis growers say if hemp plants pollinate their marijuana, it will reduce the efficacy of the MMJ, rendering it seedy and therefore worthless.
Industrial hemp contains only a small amount of THC while marijuana can contain upwards of 10%. Hemp is used to make a variety of products including clothing, rope, food and automobile parts.
The hemp field is the first approved by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), according to the newspaper. The department cannot limit where hemp is grown – that would require a legislative move. Lawmakers are seeking a solution that would work for both hemp and marijuana cultivators.
The ODA has been seeking hemp growers to apply for licenses, which are good for three years and cost $1,500.
Hemp grown in the state must adhere to strict policies, including a maximum THC level of 0.3%.