Illegal Weed Pushes Oregon County to a State of Emergency
Last Wednesday, Jackson County in southern Oregon declared a state of emergency due to the tsunami of illegal pot farms swarming the county’s territory.
With the state regulators and code enforcers overwhelmed by the sheer number of unlawful cultivators, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners asked for more funds and employees to face this cannabis crisis.
Namely, the Board reached out through an official request for support — a letter addressed to Gov. Kate Brown, House Speaker Tina Kotek, and Senate President Peter Courtney.
In it, the situation was described as an imminent threat to public health and safety. And given recent events, this claim seems completely justified.
In fact, only last month, authorities discovered the illegal farms of over 100 licensed marijuana growers. Moreover, the situation has gotten so out of hand that a whopping 700 code violations were issued thus far.
Experts blame the increased illegal activities on Oregon’s overproduction, which inadvertently increases competitive wholesale prices. At the moment, Oregon has monthly sales of over $100 million, making it a lucrative market for unlawful cultivators.
What’s more, Oregon lawmakers identified this problem back in 2019 and voted a statutory moratorium for giving licenses to newcomers to fix the issue.
Now, this moratorium is nearing its end (2022), and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) wants to extend it until 2024. Given the situation, this may be a smart move.
Nevertheless, Jackson County is far from being the only one dealing with this crisis. Some might even say that illegal cannabis is becoming a nationwide pandemic.
Just a few weeks earlier, Douglas County made its mark in the history books when it discovered a farm with a whopping 62 tons of weed! Similarly, in California, over 1.1 million illegal plants were seized and destroyed last year.