On Real Estate & More – October 2017

The approval of Ballot Measure 91 in 2015 to allow the sale and use of recreational marijuana has made some dramatic changes to the landscape of Southern Oregon. The County’s limited farmland, especially properties with irrigation rights, has increased considerably in value and there is a limited inventory of those properties currently on the market. This increased demand for farm properties has come in large part from the State allowance of marijuana production and processing in Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zones.

House Bill 3400, signed into law after Measure 91, authorizes cities and counties the ability to impose “reasonable” time, place and manner regulations on recreational and medical marijuana uses. It also grants cities and counties the opportunity to prohibit recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and/or retailers in their jurisdiction. Although some jurisdictions have prohibited marijuana uses, Jackson County has chosen to impose time, place and manner regulations for all marijuana uses which include: recreational and medical production (growing), processing, wholesaling (for recreational marijuana only) and retailing or dispensing which are set forth in Chapter 3.13 of Jackson County’s Land Use Ordinance. Provided a land use approval is obtained, this section allows for:

  1. Marijuana production in EFU, Forest, and Industrial zoning districts;
  2. Marijuana processing in the EFU and Industrial zoning districts;
  3. Recreational marijuana wholesaling in the General Commercial and Industrial zoning districts; and
  4. Marijuana Retailing/Medical Marijuana Facilities in the General Commercial zoning district.

The County’s standards and criteria regarding marijuana uses do not apply to homegrown recreational marijuana or personal medical marijuana (equivalent to growing for one cardholder), as allowed by State laws. Generally, this equates to up to four recreational marijuana plants and up to six medical marijuana plants per property. All production exceeding these limits requires a Land Use Authorization. In addition, producers must obtain a license from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) for recreational grows or registration from The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for medical grows. Many regulatory agencies have jurisdiction over various areas of marijuana production. The County’s rules also regulate location, lighting, water, security cameras, use of tents or RVs, and fencing, to name a few of the more common items.

Marijuana is here to stay in the Rogue Valley; however, adoption of these regulations has provided clarity and certainty for everyone, not just those desiring limitations of marijuana but also those seeking to move forward with marijuana related businesses. The following link to Jackson County’s website provides additional information about County standards and criteria as well as other required agency links. http://jacksoncountyor.org/Whats-New/News/ArtMID/4653/ArticleID/246902/Recreational-and-Medical-Marijuana-in-Jackson-County