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Deschutes County officials set to finalize fall marijuana opt-out measure

(Update: Adding video, comments, poll)

Commissioners a year ago imposed moratorium on applications until vote

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -  Deschutes County commissioners on Monday afternoon reviewed a marijuana "opt-out" measure they are sending to the November ballot that would ban recreational marijuana-growing and processing operations in unincorporated areas of the county. 

County commissioners imposed a moratorium on new applications for rural marijuana growing or processing facilities last year, until residents could vote on the opt-out proposal this November.

Recent years have seen numerous land-use fights over proposed operations, as some neighbors have said they harmed their rural quality of life in various ways.

Existing marijuana businesses, as well as those within cities and medical marijuana, would not be affected, if voters opt out of allowing more such operations.

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals overturned Deschutes County commissioners’ denial of a marijuana production facility east of Bend last year.

“After many controversial applications, hearings and decisions, the Deschutes County (commissioners) adopted the ordinance,” Commissioner Phil Henderson said Monday.

The opt-out proposal is in response to an appeal the Deschutes County Farm Bureau filed with the state Land Use Board of Appeals regarding what it considers too restrictive rules about marijuana production in the rural county. It's noted the operations come under "right to farm" regulations.

“We’re basically the only one in the state in this scenario,” Commissioner Tony DeBone said.

Other counties opted out of allowing permits for marijuana businesses after it was legalized in 2014. Deschutes County legalized marijuana in 2016, and it is the only county reversing its decision.

The county officials said they hope allowing voters to opt out will ease the concerns of rural residents who are against growing recreational marijuana.

County commissioners are expected to finalize the proposed ballot measure Wednesday.

Business / Central Oregon / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

25 Comments

  1. Don’t these commissioners have something better to do? If you live in a farm zone, then you have to accept that nearby, people are going to be growing things, and then processing them. They should just be glad they’re not near a hog feedlot.

  2. Pot creates good jobs across multiple sectors like agriculture, tech, customer service, tourism, etc… surprising to see pro development commissioners like adair and henderson standing on the neck of a modern economy instead, if we are going to preserve our rural heritage we need to support our farmers not fight them!

      1. you are so ignorant. The average starting wage for cannabis farmers is well above minimum wage, but you just spout off like you know what you are talking about. Ignorant you remain.

      2. Year-round work, full-time with overtime opportunities, with benefits for some positions, in a low-stress environment, and well over minimum wage. I was paid $20 per hour to start. Funny how the people, like Century01, who have no clue about the industry, are the same ones who oppose it the most. A little education goes a long ways. Some people choose to remian ignorant so they can support their selfish bias.

  3. I voted against this in the beginning but it passed and is here now all around us. I spent the night in a “dry county” in Kansas a number of years ago – we had to drive to the next town to buy the beer we drank in our room – but we got it….

  4. There is too many double negatives in the title for me to comprehend HOW I want to vote this?

    Opt out of county growing restrictions? 👆
    Opt out of county growing permission? 👇

    “The county officials said they hope allowing voters to opt out will ease the concerns of rural residents who are against growing recreational marijuana.”
    Sounds pro-grow but….

    “County commissioners imposed a moratorium on new applications for rural marijuana growing or processing facilities last year, until residents could vote on the opt-out proposal this November.”
    Sounds anti tax revenue. Pro moratorium?

    “Deschutes County Farm Bureau filed with the state Land Use Board of Appeals regarding what it considers too restrictive rules about marijuana production in the rural county. It’s noted the operations come under “right to farm” regulations.”
    -sounds pro farm, anti moratorium?

    This is why I don’t trust ballot measures, who is trying to infringe on my civil liberties now?
    How should I vote ?

  5. they should do some rules that make sense, like a suck it rule. if you see, sniff, hear, something that offends you about farm life, then you are entitled to look, sniff, or go, somewhere else. the worlds changing and it smells like a skunk

  6. Of course we are the only county dealing with this DeBone, because you idiots ignored their warnings in the first place when you first attempted to go this route and no other country leadership is that ignorant. Now, you are wasting tax payer money again for what? Beating a dead horse? Marijuana is safe, legal, and it is a farm crop. If you do this, you will never be voted in again, I assure you thins. You and Adair and your person ill informed anti cannabis campaign. What a joke!

  7. Many people are on a wit list to see if this passes or not. If they ban it, then we’ll just have a pig farm instead. Or how about chickens. Maybe a manure/compst dump for the local farmers as well? Yep. Want to play ball folks? We no how to make a point too! Maybe the neighbors will like the smell of animal dung much better? Stupid people get stupid results. Be prepared for a fight. Some of the pot farmers I know will have no problem making a point like this and we’ve already discussed doing this should the ban go in effect. Careful for what you wish for, idiots.

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