In this April 5, 2017 photo, vineyard owner Katherine Bryan laughs as she discusses the wines available for tasting at Deer Creek Vineyards in Selma, Ore. Bryan is one of a handful of vineyard owners and winemakers in this fertile corner of southwestern Oregon who are branching out into marijuana farming after the legalization of recreational weed in Oregon two years ago. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Wine and weed? Some Oregon vineyards try hand at pot farming

May 25, 2017 - 5:02 am

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's legalization of recreational pot two years ago is creating room for the wine industry to branch out in the southern part of the state.

The fertile region borders California's so-called Emerald Triangle, a well-known nirvana for outdoor weed cultivation.

Recreational marijuana won't be legal in California until next year, but a few miles north of the border in Oregon, a handful of winemakers are experimenting with pot.

These growers want to increase their appeal among young consumers and in niche markets and cash in on the recreational marijuana boom.

Vineyards are also ripping out grapes in favor of weed or leasing acreage to private pot growers.

The enthusiasm comes with a caveat. Marijuana is illegal at the federal level and wineries must keep separate tax lots for wine and weed or risk losing their federal license to bottle and sell wine.

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