On a frosty night in December, James Bowman was alone and overcome with exhaustion. The cannabis grower had worked hard all day processing plants at his BlueSky Gardens near Wimer, lacking the money to keep his crew on hand to provide security through the night.
Arguably Southern Oregon’s best-known grower, the 57-year-old struggled financially to make it through the harvest. His ambitious High Hopes Farm in the Applegate, once toured by legislators as a model of medical marijuana grows, had been raided by federal agents in 2012. He’d spent two years in court to avoid a conviction, which took a toll on his pocketbook.