BEND, OR -- The moratorium on growing, processing and selling marijuana in unincorporated parts of Deschutes County is set to expire Thursday. That means those wanting to grow pot can apply for land use approval before requesting a state license.
Deschutes County Community Development Director Nick Lelack says a lot of people are interested in the process. "This Thursday, we expect 5-10 applications submitted; it could be significantly higher than that. We've received a number of calls everyday from potential applicants, and last week we conducted workshops with the public to share with everybody what the regulations are, and those were very well attended." Lelack tells KBND News, "We had 65 people who came to our workshops last week, and we've had hundreds of calls. We presented last week to the Central Oregon Realtors Association - standing room only there - primarily by realtors learning about the regulations so they can inform their clients about this new industry and what they can expect when they're selling a property or representing a buyer of a property."
After the county grants land use approval, than applicants must submit their information to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for a recreational marijuana license. Lelack says the county application process takes time. "It depends on what type of business people are making an application for. If it's for production, it's a pretty extensive application. They need to submit an application that's going to demonstrate how they're addressing the sight, sound, smell, security, solid waste- a number of the standards that the Board of County Commissioners has adopted into the ordinance. So, they'll need to spend some time and some work on that application." He expects his office will process between 25 and 50 applications within the next few months.