The number of large medical marijuana gardens decreased substantially in the state of Oregon in 2012 in the wake of federal raids of larger medical pot grows during the harvest season of 2011. This, coupled with new and increased medical pot registration fees, has helped reduce the number of larger cannabis gardens.
The big blow came in September 2011 when the feds raided five large co-op medical pot gardens in Jackson County (located in Southern Oregon, one of the prime pot-growing sites in the U.S.), seizing hundreds of plants in the process.
The Associated Press obtained state statistics that reveal the number of registered gardens serving multiple patients has noticeably decreased. Gardens for five or more patients dropped 26 percent, from 1,694 to 1,258 this year, and even larger grow sites were in sharper decline. Those accommodating ten or more pot patients decreased a whopping 36 percent, from 241 to just 153, and those serving 15 or more patients were cut in more than half, from 53 to a mere 24.
On the other hand, gardens for only one patient grew five percent, which contributed to the overall number of medical pot grow sites statewide remaining roughly stable at 35,500.
Another contributing factor cited in the decline of larger gardens are fees imposed by the Oregon Legislature; one is a new $50 fee a patient must cough up to register a cultivator as their designated pot provider. Additionally, the fee for someone to become a medical marijuana patient shot up from $100 to $200 and indeed, the number of registered pot patients in Oregon decreased from over 58,000 last October to 55,167 as of April 1.
Unfortunately, medical marijuana gardens are not alone in being threatened by federal interests in Oregon, as U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall is now focusing on the number of dispensaries statewide, which has risen from 70 to 170 according to federal calculations.