A picture of the Archery Summit Vineyard in Oregon.

Ethan Prater

Oregon Vineyard Owners Fear Neighboring Cannabis Farm will Taint Grapes

An Oregon vineyard in Yamhill County has asked a judge to stop a cannabis cultivation permit for a neighbor claiming that the smell from the grow would waft into their land and taint their grapes, according to a report from The Oregonian. The owners of Momtazi Vineyard are joined in the suit by would-be vineyard owners Harihara and Parvathy Mahesh who purchased 19 acres nearby the vineyard and planned grow-op in 2013.

Richard Wagner purchased a seven-acre property in December with plans for growing a half-acre of cannabis outdoors.

“The odor is similar to that of skunk and is not acceptable in wine,” Moe Momtazi said during a Yamhill County Board of Commissioners meeting last week urging them to deny Wagner’s cultivation permit, the Oregonian reports. “The impact on Momtazi Vineyard … would certainly put the vines and wine at great risk.”

Wagner said he would follow organic and sustainable growing practices and that while the smell would be apparent for a few weeks during the growing process, his extraction processing wouldn’t emit any foul-smelling odors.

“They’re afraid, they’re very afraid,” Wagner said, adding that his neighbors moved to the area prior to legalization and didn’t anticipate cannabis cultivation. “It’s all based on ignorance and fear. … At the same time, I get it. I’m not lacking empathy with them.”

The case is being considered in Yamhill County Court.

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