Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Oregon state regulators have fined five hemp businesses a total of $825,000 dollars for housing farmworkers in a dilapidated building in Josephine County.

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OLCC Launches Potcast, err...Podcast

Nov 1, 2019
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Capital Public Radio / File

With the legalization of cannabis in Oregon came, naturally, laws. And regulations. And rules. The Oregon legislature tasked the Oregon Liqour Control Commission (OLCC) with regulating the growing, distribution and sale of cannabis in the state.

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The cannabis industry now legal in many states is still largely a cash-only business.  It's not that banks don't want to handle the industry's money; they can't by law. 

Since pot is still illegal in the eyes of the feds, no federally-backed financial institution can touch cannabis cash.  More than 300 members of the U.S. House voted to change that, with the passage of the SAFE Banking Act on September 25th. 

Count the Oregon Cannabis Association among the appreciative.  Now the question is... what will the Senate do? 

Erik Neumann/JPR News

Overflow crowds filled the Josephine County Fairgrounds auditorium in Grants Pass Wednesday night for a symposium on the region’s booming hemp industry. State officials discussed power usage in greenhouses, fire risks posed by the CBD extraction process with hemp, and threats to fish from agricultural water diversions. 


The biggest change in Oregon agriculture in the last ten years involves the explosion in the growth of the wine and cannabis industries.  Both of those--at least the cannabis that gets people high--are under the regulation of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, OLCC. 

OLCC spends a chunk of July and August holding meetings around the state, to take input from the wine and marijuana industries on issues and concerns.  Sessions in our region start Wednesday in Ashland and Medford. 

Grown Rogue

Businesses that were flat-out impossible a few years ago are thriving under the legalization of marijuana for personal use. 

One example: Grown Rogue, which provides cannabis and concentrates in many different varieties.  The company describes itself as a "seed-to-sale" operation, involved in cannabis from cultivation to final product. 

Sarah and Obie Strickler started the company and run it still. 

Rex Medlen | Pixabay

150 feet can make a big difference.  California's Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use in the state, allows municipalities to set buffers between cannabis-based businesses and places frequented by children, like schools. Many jurisdictions have opted for 600-foot buffers, which were advised, but not required, by the state.

When the Mount Shasta City Council voted recently to set the buffers at 450 feet, it got an earful from opponents.  Tom Scovill, for one, is not happy about what he sees as the city promoting marijuana businesses; he circulated petitions to force a public vote on the issue.  The Council will discuss the matter again at its June 10 meeting.

The booming cannabis business may be good for many people, but there are other impacts to consider.  Like what happens to the people who want to keep growing food when the farms around them begin growing cannabis? 

The Rogue Valley Food System Network wanted an answer to that question, so it teamed up with Southern Oregon University to explore the issues. 

Environmental scientist Vincent Smith led the work; he presented it in a recent public lecture


You've heard of eco-tourism, but are you ready for "canna-tourism?"  Would you consider staying at a "bud and breakfast?" 

These are business categories that could be possible if Humboldt County adopts the draft ordinance now before county supervisors. 

The general goal of the ordinance is to loosen up county regulations on marijuana-based businesses, allowing more types of businesses, and potentially more income. 

Will Houston covers cannabis for the Times-Standard in Eureka and for the Cannifornian

The Josephine County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt rules that ban cannabis farming on rural residential lots that are 5 acres or smaller.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the county passed the new rules Wednesday night. The board did not determine when they will take affect. 

Opponents have threatened a lawsuit or an appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

Jackson County Doubles Cannabis Violation Fines

Nov 20, 2017

Jackson County is raising its maximum fine from $10,000 to $20,000 for code violations — in part because officials say owners of illegal marijuana grows are undeterred by the threat of a $10,000 fine. “A lot of people are being impacted by people who are ignoring our ordinances,” said Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer. Commissioners discussed the fines during a work session in October, then voted this month on whether to raise fines. Dyer and Commissioner Bob Strosser voted to increase a variety of minimum and maximum fines.

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

Marijuana cultivation is estimated to use one percent of America’s electricity output. That’s enough juice to power 1.7 million average homes.

And as more states make the drug legal in some form, that power consumption is expected to soar. Northwest energy officials project cannabis grows will suck up three percent of the region’s power by 2035. 

Now, efforts are underway to get growers to reduce their energy use.