The Bulletin reports…….Deschutes County commissioners voted Monday to send the question of whether recreational marijuana growing and processing operations should be allowed in the future to the November 2020 ballot.
The unanimous vote triggered an immediate moratorium on any new applications for grow sites or processing facilities in rural, unincorporated Deschutes County until the issue is decided by the voters next year.
Existing businesses, as well as any kind of marijuana operation in a city, will not be affected regardless of whether voters decide to opt out of approving marijuana business. Medical marijuana would also not be affected.
“Let’s back off and get clarity from the voters,” said Commissioner Tony DeBone
The recent conversation around opting out of permitting marijuana gained steam earlier this month in response to the concerns of residents who, through pages of public comment, said growers and processors are disturbing their way of life.
It could also help curb the number of land use appeals the county faces regarding rural marijuana operations, and is a chance to ask the residents of Deschutes County, who have been sharply divided on the topic of marijuana, once and for all whether they want more marijuana growing in rural areas.
The timing of the decision, however, is largely in response to an appeal filed with the state Land Use Board of Appeals from the Deschutes County Farm Bureau and representatives of the marijuana industry. The appeal claims a set of recently adopted rules that govern where and how marijuana production can occur in rural parts of the county are unconstitutional.