Deschutes County enacts marijuana moratorium

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Existing businesses would not be affected

FILE – This Monday, May 20, 2019, file photo, shows a marijuana leaf on a plant at a cannabis grow. Louisiana is becoming the first Deep South state to dispense medical marijuana, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to therapeutic cannabis. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – Deschutes County commissioners have voted to send the question of whether recreational marijuana growing and processing operations should be allowed in the future to the November 2020 ballot.

The Bulletin reports the unanimous vote Monday 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 voters.

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 also would not be affected.

Recent conversation around opting out of permitting marijuana have gained steam in response to the concerns of residents who, through 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.

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