The changes impact commercial growers in rural residential zones. The old ordinance stated commercial marijuana grown in rural residential zones wasn’t allowed on lots of five acres or less. The new wording covers all lots in that zoning, effectively banning large grows in rural residential areas.
Commissioner Dan DeYoung said another change involves the annual certification.
“We had an annual certification we needed clarified. We have taken the fee out but you still have to do the annual certification,” DeYoung said.
The annual certification is needed for people growing under an OLCC license. That license is necessary for growers who have more than 12 plants.
Grower Aaron Gerk said he thinks these changes will hurt his business.
“I have no idea where my future goes beyond this,” Gerk said. “I will go from employing five people to being on welfare.”
DeYoung said the ordinance changes should not hurt those who follow the rules.
“The people that want to do it right and that are doing it right, and there’s a lot of them, I am on there side,” DeYoung said. “I don’t think the OLCC, the Feds, I don’t think anyone is after those folks.”
The changes to the ordinance are effective immediately and it will be signed into law in 90 days.
At least one group has said it will sue over the commissioner’s decision.