BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on changes to county regulations for marijuana businesses, despite withdrawing them from state consideration. Commissioner Tony DeBone says, "After we did an update to [regulations], they were appealed at the Land Use Board of Appeals - LUBA. And the concept now is, we are the elected body with local connections, and we would like to review this locally instead of having the Land Use Board of Appeals do it." He tells KBND News, "A law firm, representing marijuana interests, appealed it and they were trying to get LUBA to change our rules and regulations." He adds, "The response to that is to bring it back locally, now that there's an appeal. This usually doesn't happen; I've never seen it in my time in office."
DeBone says Commissioners had always planned to revisit the county's regulations after a year. They worked on text amendments for several months, in 2018.
He says the crux of the matter is that various agencies across the state have different definitions of what it means for pot to be a "right to farm" crop, in light of regulations controlling odor, location, lighting, and noise. Because it affects local marijuana farmers, DeBone believes any opposition should be heard at the local level first, "The appeal in front of LUBA, principally, should've been done in front of us, your local governing body which has land use authority. So, that's really what we're responding to. A group shouldn't be able to appeal at a state level if they haven't brought the topics up locally; and they didn't bring them up locally."