As marijuana legislation hits full speed in Oregon, the next two years will be rampant with legal struggles, wheeling and dealing from all angles of the court and every side of the discussion aiming to catch a foothold in some either financial, political, or regional way.

Two opposing sides of this struggle that most people would never realize or consider enemies, are the state’s hemp farmers, and their marijuana farmers.

To most, on the outside, they probably don’t even recognize those crops as different things. But they are. Hemp has historically been an ultimately necessary tool in various avenues of the textiles and fabric industries, all the way from basic industrial development to major labor-intensive fields. Clothing, rope and twine, fibers, shelters, hell even food. Hemp has countless uses and hats.

Chemically, the crop has a much lesser psychoactive value, and much earthier, harsher quality to it, as its main purpose is for raw use rather than consumption (especially for intoxicating purposes). And where marijuana farmers’ fear lies is in the possible cross-pollination of and therefore contamination of their healthy female marijuana plants from these harsher, “lesser” quality pollens. At least as far as what their purpose entails.

They claim that if their healthy females are pollinated by the hemp pollen, there is no doubt the quality of their product will greatly fall, and this coming at a time when the marijuana produced from these regions becomes a major force in the legal industry.

The hemp farmers have some other issues. Their problem is that they’re being lumped into a hole with the marijuana camp, and having regulations thrown on them that really play nothing into why their crops are being farmed in the first place. Or at least that was the major issue. Until now, where they’re being threatened out of their farms and locations by “more valuable” and “higher gain” crops, mostly marijuana. Where hempers have farmed for years are no being repurposed for the weed growers, as a more potent market calls for it, and dollar signs abound. This is NOT something the hemp farmers see as cool, or even proper business dealing.

Hemps uses as medically-charged, CBD-heavy consumptory products may be the biggest dog they have in this fight, now. Because if other medical growers and advocates can get behind the hemp as medical debate, there may be a chance the industry can hold on in southern Oregon. If not, it could be the end of hemp as they know it.

Photo via (of Libyan fighters preparing for battle near Tripoli, not of Oregon Hemp or Marijuana farmers)