A proposal to create a 1.5-acre outdoor cannabis farm near Livermore, California, raised immediate questions about crime, water use, and general odor, but a new question also arose. Can the smell of cannabis grown on fields adjacent to vineyards be absorbed into grapes and taint the wine made from them?
“That concern is not based on total nonsense,” said Anita Oberholster, cooperative extension specialist in enology at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. “Nobody knows, but scientifically, it is possible that there is a potential impact.”
Oberholster — who completed a research proposal to study cannabis' potential impact on grapes — cited data from the University of Adelaide in Australia that showed it is possible that terpenes could be absorbed into grapes. Researcher Dimitra Capone found the terpenes from eucalyptus trees planted near Australian vineyards affected grapes if they were within 50 meters
Oberholster said the introduction of cannabis among established grape farms could possibly affect people’s livelihoods. California’s grape and wine industry is a $31.9 billion industry with 637,000 acres of wine grapes planted.
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