by Damian Mann of the Mail Tribune
For 38 years, Arnie Abrams has enjoyed his quiet country life outside of Ashland with idyllic views of the valley below him.
That peace and quiet was upended over the past year when hemp grows began surrounding his house, and he fears that what remains of his rural lifestyle will be completely undermined if a Jackson County-approved hemp processing plant is built on farmland across the street.
“These people have no interest in being good farmers,” said Abrams, who has joined forces with other neighbors to oppose the project, even as work has gotten underway to prepare the concrete pad for the building.
Abrams, who voted to legalize marijuana in Oregon, said he realizes it may be a losing proposition to fight the hemp facility because state laws generally favor agricultural operations.
“Any way I look at it, I’m going to lose,” he said. “We want to get out of here, the Rogue Valley.”
Last year, Jackson County denied an application for a CBD processing plant in Eagle Point, partially because of fire risks from using ethanol and partially because it was considered a higher impact industrial operation.