US (OK): As cannabis industry booms, farmers face challenges with applying pesticides

Farmers and ranchers who live close to cannabis farms are running into challenges spraying their crops and fields, as applicators fear lawsuits if any pesticide or herbicide drift contaminates cannabis or causes the plants to die.

James Fuser, a farmer and rancher in Afton, Oklahoma says there are multiple cannabis farms near him. When he tried to hire a business to spray to prevent weeds and pests on his soybeans, he ran into a problem. The company said they would not spray if Fuser’s property was within a two-mile radius of a cannabis grow.

The cannabis business has exploded in Oklahoma. As of Sept. 3, 2021, there are 8,360 growers in the state, but Fuser says the pesticide applicators he talked to are afraid of getting sued.

“They're (cannabis growers) going to sue them (applicators) for what they can get, you know, what they're trying to sell it for,” Fuser says. “And right now cannabis is a pretty high crop.”


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