Oregon vineyard owners sue to halt nearby cannabis cultivation

Oregon vineyard owners in the heart of the state’s wine region filed a lawsuit asking a judge to ban a neighbor from cultivating marijuana, complaining that the smell of cannabis could drift over and taint their grapes.

The suit could foreshadow a larger issue: Will expanding cannabis cultivation, particularly in states such as California and Oregon, cause conflicts with the already-established wine industry?

The Oregonian reported that Momtazi Vineyard – in Yamhill County, southeast of Portland – is joined by vineyard owners Harihara and Parvathy Mahesh in the suit against Oregon resident Richard Wagner.

Momtazi Vineyard claims it has already lost one grape-buying customer because of the planned cultivation operation, according to the lawsuit filed in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

Wagner has plans for a 22,000- to 44,000-square-foot outdoor cannabis cultivation operation.

According to The Oregonian, he doesn’t need approval from the county to cultivate cannabis because the land is zoned for farm use. However, he’s seeking permission to process marijuana on the site. The lawsuit says Wagner could process upwards of 33,000 pounds of cannabis.

Wagner told The Oregonian he planned to adhere to organic and sustainable growing practices, including avoiding pesticides. He also said he planned to use a water-extraction process instead of solvent-based processes and limit water use and runoff with a drip irrigation system.

The winemakers’ lawsuit claims the marijuana farmer’s outdoor grow could jeopardize the Momtazi’s Demeter Biodynamic certification, which recognizes the vineyard for organic farming.

6 comments on “Oregon vineyard owners sue to halt nearby cannabis cultivation
  1. Cora on

    Here in California most grape growers are considering replanting young vies with Cannabis. There is currently an over saturation of grapes. The smell of Cannabis does not affect grapes at all, we have been plating Cannabis between our grape rows for years, and produce some of the Finest grapes getting the top tier in pricing. The non-Organic farm practices of grapes growers are more worrisome as the pesticides and herbicides they use can affect and taint adjacent cannabis crops.

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  2. Cora on

    Here in California most grape growers are considering replanting young vies with Cannabis. There is currently an over saturation of grapes. The smell of Cannabis does not affect grapes at all, we have been plating Cannabis between our grape rows for years, and produce some of the Finest grapes getting the top tier in pricing. The non-Organic farm practices of grapes growers are more worrisome as the pesticides and herbicides they use can affect and taint adjacent cannabis crops.

    Reply
  3. Edgar Winters on

    Come on “Man” Really. Those Vineyards that are wanting to protest or take to court actions against these OLCC growers, in fear of contamination of their grapes, “Wow here in Southern Oregon last year, the local common fires by lighting in the summer months drifted on
    to our local vineyards, full of grapes, and it ENHANCED the flavor of the wines after processing, due to their surprise ,they sold this smell of smoke wine worldwide. Customers were happy.

    My point is: Did you even care that Wagner was going to cultivate his Cannabis organically as well. Oregon is a EFU World these days, farmers can even grow iHemp on farm grounds. Cannabis flavornoids will enhance your precious wine, and your guests will love the aroma while sampling your organic spirits.

    Also, the County will receive a lot more in Tax Revenue than what you are paying them, “Get Over It” and try to work with your neighbor from the start of this “New Revelation on all Farming Commodities, including Medical, Recreation and now Industrial Hemp. Just think in a couple of years the Cannabis farmers might want to sue your vineyard for all that Yeast Smell of production on their plants. “Just a Thought”

    :

    Reply
  4. Paul Sorensen on

    I would like to see scientific evidence to back the vineyard’s claims.
    Perhaps Wagner should sue the vineyards, claiming the grapes will affect the quality of his pot grow. Regardless, the vineyard’s complaints sound like (get ready for it) ‘sour grapes’ to me.

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  5. Ma Dang on

    First, smoke and ash on grapes does NOT improve flavors, but adds sulfur compounds that cause issues with yeast and leave a ‘taint’ in wines.
    Second, The drift from spraying the grapes (yes, even in an ‘organic’ vineyard will cause issues with the cannabis grower as when the product is tested it will show residuals of non-approved pesticides, etc.
    Third, It is weather related plant disease (powdery mildew) regardless of sprays that will be an issues not aromatics from Cannabis.

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