ODA: Josephine Co. not being granted moratorium for new hemp grows

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A moratorium on hemp growing in Josephine County has ended.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said the county did not submit paperwork, to the department on time.

It would’ve extended the moratorium for a year.

The Department of Agriculture tells us Josephine County will not be granted a moratorium on new hemp permits.

They said the county submitted paperwork to the state’s Office of Emergency Management, not their department.

However, Josephine County is telling us a different story.

The county’s legal counsel, Wally Hicks, said they filed it correctly and OEM is the one responsible for handing it over to the department of agriculture.

In November, county commissioners voted to extend the moratorium on new hemp permits through 2023.

The paperwork had to be submitted by January 1.

Well Josephine County appears to have missed their deadline, Jackson County did not.

It will have a moratorium on new permits for 2023.

County officials are hoping to reduce illegal marijuana grows, as they say hemp is often used as a cover for illegal operations.

In December, county commissioner Dave Dotterer explained why counties can implement this emergency declaration.

“With the number of grows we have in this county, it’s a tremendous amount of work and it’s basically overloaded our system,” he said. “So what this does, at least it doesn’t get any bigger, that’s the number one thing it does. You have to declare an emergency, the board of commissioners has to declare an emergency.”

The Department of Agriculture tells us its investigated the situation in Josephine County, putting a hold on new permits temporarily, but we’re told they don’t have the legal authority to stop new permits without the proper paperwork from the county.

That means right now, there is no longer a moratorium for hemp permits in Josephine County, for the time being.

Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel declined to comment on the news.

As of right now, the state said they have not seen a huge increase in new permits.

© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
Skip to content