Folks living in Deschutes County, Oregon say they’re running out of water. They say their wells are drying up and that they’re spending tens of thousands of dollars drilling new ones. And they know exactly who to blame: the nearby medical cannabis farm that began growing there in 2015. But are marijuana farms really the reason for rural resident’s water shortages?
In Oregon, Residents Are Blaming Cannabis Farms for Water Shortages
Charles Cook and Suezan Hill-Cook live in the Lake Park Estates subdivision in Redmond, Oregon. In 2015, shortly after Oregon legalized adult use and a commercial cannabis industry, a grow operation set up in the area. Things on the farm were slow at first. But as the industry in Oregon grew, operations at the cannabis grow got busier. Used to a quiet, rural setting, the area’s older residents grew to resent the noise, smell and traffic the farm was generating.
Then, the water started running out. And on a hot summer day in 2018, Cook and Hill-Cook’s well wouldn’t pump any water. It was dry. Already rankled by the nuisances of the grow, the couple were sure it was to blame for their empty well. They had heard about