PORTLAND, Oregon — The number of large-scale marijuana farms in Oregon is up sharply, and the largest doesn’t even serve Oregonians.

The site is in southern Oregon, at the Josephine County community Selma. It produces medical marijuana for 104 Oregon medical marijuana patients. All live in California, and all but two live in Orange County, southeast of Los Angeles.

Oregon law allows out of state residents to get state medical marijuana cards.

The law also allows patients to designate someone to grow marijuana for them if they don’t want to grow it themselves.

The most recent data shows there are now 283 grow sites serving 11 or more patients, the Oregonian (https://bit.ly/1Bb4Z2G) reports, drawing on its analysis of state data.

In the past two years, the number of large-scale grow sites has more than doubled.

The 283 sites serving 11 or more patients is a 130 percent increase.

The number of sites serving 20 or more is up 156 percent, to 23.

The Oregon Health Authority keeps the grow site data

It includes ZIP codes for every site producing for 11 or more patients and ZIP codes for the patients. Patient identities and grow site information is confidential under the law and was stripped from the data before the state released it.

Portland has the largest number of grow sites serving 11 or more patients. Among them is the state’s second-largest site.

The impending legalization of recreational marijuana has touched off a rush for warehouse and retail space in Portland as new producers enter the market and current ones expand.

Oregon has approved medical marijuana dispensaries, and now there are 213 retail outlets where cardholders can purchase medical cannabis.

Retail sales of recreational pot are expected to begin early next year, once state regulators write the rules.

“The legal marketplace has been limited to 70,000 cardholders, and now it’s about to be every adult and every 21-and-older tourist who passes through the state,” said Matt Walstatter, a medical cannabis grower and owner of Pure Green, a Northeast Portland medical marijuana dispensary. “It makes sense for production to ramp up.”

Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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