New grant will fund marijuana enforcement team in Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Over a half-million dollars was awarded to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to help enforce marijuana laws.

The grant was made possible due to the recent passage of Senate Bill 1544, a grant program to help address the illegal marijuana market.

$573,000 in funds given to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will help create a multi-agency team of investigators from JCSO and the Medford Police Department, along with a crime analyst and prosecutor.

Currently, a federal grant focusing on livability is being used to address marijuana complaints, which have reportedly been on the rise since commercial production has been legalized. “Our deputies get a lot of complaints related to marijuana grows such as traffic, odors, and neighbor disputes,” JCSO Deputy Michael Hermant said. “We are able to take the time to look into each case, and then work with other agencies to find the best solution.”

JCSO said the majority of growers have been out of compliance in at least one aspect. Often times, deputies give them a chance to bring their grows back into compliance before action is taken.

However, some growers are still operating illegally. JCSO pointed to a particular case near Gold Hill, where deputies found a large grow with no permits and no Oregon Medical Marijuana Program association. 90 plants were found and destroyed at that grow. Nobody was arrested and the case remains under investigation.

Anyone with a marijuana-related issue or complaint can call 541-776-7206.

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