The arrangement soured quickly: Prominent marijuana activist Paul Stanford leased land from a Yamhill County man to grow dozens of medical marijuana plants for his family and friends.
But the plants dried up in summer and landowner Larry Trow, 67, plowed them under this month.
The two men sharply disagree over what led the operation to fail and have traded accusations about who’s to blame and who should pay.
Their tangled tale underscores Oregon’s hands-off approach to medical marijuana production. Despite a flourishing commercial medical marijuana industry that’s poised to pivot to a recreational market if voters approve Measure 91 next week, the state doesn’t regulate marijuana grow sites.
The Oregon Health Authority doesn’t inspect or license the sites, which supply not only the nearly 70,000 patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program but the state’s newly regulated medical marijuana dispensary industry as well.
The state can verify for law enforcement whether an address is a valid medical marijuana grow site, but does little else, said Karynn Fish, a spokeswoman for the health authority.
“The state,” said Fish, “doesn’t visit the sites or regulate them in any way.”
Stanford, who operates medical marijuana clinics in Oregon and nationwide and was the sponsor behind Measure 80, the failed marijuana legalization effort in 2012, said he planned to grow medical marijuana for his family, including his wife, and business associates at Trow’s property.
Last spring, Trow, a retired construction worker with 20 acres of land outside Newberg, said he agreed to let Stanford use some of his land for his marijuana crop. He said Stanford offered him $30,000 as part of the deal. Stanford disputes Trow’s claim, saying it was Trow who came up with the figure.
By the time the planting was done by two of Stanford’s associates, Trow said there were 75 marijuana plants in the …read more