We are farmers. More specifically, we are craft cannabis farmers from Oregon with backgrounds in advocacy, courtroom wins, and community organization. We started F.A.R.M.S. Inc. to represent ourselves and defend our farming rights.
We get the job done by changing and shaping policy, building networks, and providing business services to ensure family farms have the chance to succeed and not become overrun by corporations.
In a perfect world – and likely a future state – we won’t have to defend our rights to grow small-volume, legalized crops with sustainable farming practices on our own land. However, until that day comes, we are here to stand up for our liberties, our professionalism, and our emerging cannabis industry through education, cooperation, and legislation.
For decades, farmers have been growing cannabis in Southern Oregon without much conflict. When the passage of Measure 91 influenced the emergence of large commercial operations in the region, a perceived issue came along with it. Instead of Counties addressing the core problem of these commercial and illegal grows, they targeted the lowest hanging fruit. They went after the legal family-run farms.
On December 6, 2017, the Josephine County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance that prevented a farmer’s decision to grow cannabis on their land and also denied current legal cannabis farmers their right by state law to receive grandfather status to continue to grow.
The day after the ordinance passed, F.A.R.M.S. Inc. filed a lawsuit against the County with the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). On April 6, 2017, LUBA heard oral arguments and not more than six days later issued a decision to remand the ordinance. It was the fastest decision made in LUBA history.
After receiving a quick decision that was not in their favor, the County decided to file an appeal with the Circuit Court and F.A.R.M.S. Inc. headed back to court. The Circuit Court issued an AWOP (Affirm without Opinion) decision and upheld LUBA’s ruling.
Along with these two cases, the County also filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the State of Oregon and the Attorney General which was dismissed.
Understanding the importance of neighborly coexistence and community wellbeing, F.A.R.M.S. Inc. and the County decided to work together to draft a fair ordinance that looked at moving the legal cannabis industry forward. Keeping an open mind and committing to clear communication helped both sides to avoid court again. Compromise and negotiation worked.
Now at F.A.R.M.S. Inc., we have our sights set on broader issues. We have expanded our membership to include craft cannibis farms from all over Oregon.