BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners held two public hearings Wednesday on proposed marijuana-related business land use regulations. A parade of people testified on proposed land use regulations for pot growers in unincorporated parts of the county. The regulations would limit marijuana related businesses to 20-acre minimum parcels of Exclusive Farm Use land, odor abatement, setbacks from property lines and limiting lighting at night.
At Wednesday night’s hearing, those in favor stressed job creation and cooperation with neighbors. Those opposed complained of odor, safety and lower property values. “I did not vote for the pot industry to move to Bend’s rural farmland and grow and process large quantities of marijuana," said one person opposed to the plan. Another suggested, “I would really urge you to opt out and just give it more time for more research."
But, many testified in favor of reasonable regulation. "We want the chance to show you that a regulated cannabis industry can work and how regulations can make good neighbors. If you have a smelly pot farmer next door, it’s going to reduce your property value. It might be slightly offensive to some people but to some people that is the smell of a thriving business.” Another added, "A well-regulated cannabis market will bring in much-needed jobs in Deschutes County and great tax incentives. ”
County Commissioners will accept written comments on the proposed land use regulations for cannabis related businesses in rural Deschutes County through 5 p.m. on December 17. They plan to then hold deliberations on the proposed regulations December 21.
Commissioner Alan Unger told the group those deliberations could include opting out altogether, as allowed by the state.