Wall Street Journal, Sept 15, 2008:
The article mentions that police believe drug cartels are using migrant workers to tend the crops and that, for the most part, vineyard owners are unaware of any illegal activity because they contract with migrant workers and small cultivation and harvesting companies. (Hmm...)
Pot Crop Infiltrates Vineyards
Antidrug officials in the Northwest have discovered that marijuana growers are cultivating and concealing illegal crops on a large scale among grapevines in Washington state.
Since July 8, law-enforcement agencies in Washington's Yakima Valley have seized more than 200,000 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of more than $165 million. The agencies say they expect to find more of the plants in the vineyards as the marijuana-growing season nears its conclusion in late September.
There is more, however.
Police have found marijuana plants on farms growing grapes under contract with Welch's Food Inc., The National Grape Cooperative and the JM Smucker Co. subsidiary of General Mills Inc.The article does go on to say that all companies mentioned are cooperating with law enforcement in the on-going investigation and that none of the grapes in the affected vineyards have been used in their products.
I do wonder, though, if just a few loads have made it to store shelves. Maybe Gramma's jelly pastries are gonna be worth a second helping this holiday season.
Checkin' The Fridge