Oregon farm regulators have won approval from a key legislative committee to hire two specialists focused on hemp inspections and enforcement.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has also gotten authorization to fund an assistant water master who’d investigate claims of water law violations by hemp farmers.
Hemp production has exploded in Oregon in recent years, increasing from about 100 acres in 2015 to more than 63,000 acres in 2019. To keep pace with the industry’s growth, the ODA has assigned employees from other segments of its natural resources program to work on hemp licensing and other hemp issues.
However, the agency won’t be able to dedicate so many resources to hemp without detracting from other natural resource duties, according to an analysis submitted to lawmakers.
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