Local hemp gaining traction, investors

Cannabis plants grow in Josephine County (Georgia Lawson/News 10)

Hemp is growing quickly in southern Oregon - in the ground and in popularity.

The recently formed Southern Oregon Hemp Co-Op is gathering farmers, landowners, and anyone else interested in moving the industry forward.

That includes investors from states as far as New York, and countries as far as Israel, all eager to get their hands on the newly popular crop, which grows uniquely well in the southern Oregon region.

However, the budding industry's success is not without a lot of work, which co-op board member Terry Toner recognizes.

"Are the soils right? Do you have the proper water rights for the land that you want to grow on so there wont be problems down the road? Bringing the right people to harvest the product when it's done," Toner said.

Local hemp has met some growing pains, like banks not taking their business and complaints of smells from the crop.

However, the co-op is optimistic of the crop's future, saying it's versatility and return on investment could bring a lot of cash and opportunity to the Rogue Valley. They also hope the provide resources so young people and small farmers can understand the industry and the steps needed to be successful.

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