California's Largest Legal Weed Farms Face Conflict In Wine Country

Aug 8, 2019

(NPR) - The Santa Rita Hills, nestled in Santa Barbara County, are ideal for pinot noir, a notoriously finicky grape. That's why Kathy Joseph came here to plant Fiddlestix Vineyard.

"The plants are over 20 years old, which comes through in the wines we make. The topography is just right; the proximity to the ocean is incredible," Joseph says. "Difficult to find a pinot noir district this good."

Neighboring grape vines extend to the west as far as the eye can see. In the other direction, there's a new neighbor in town. This spring, a cannabis farmer started building hoop houses on the 100-acre parcel. So far, a quarter of the land is growing pot. Joseph has seen plenty of vegetable farms there before.

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