Oregon voted to legalize recreational marijuana almost two years ago. However, the market is just now coming into focus. There are hundreds of dispensaries across the state that have opened their doors and there has already been millions of dollars in tax revenue generated from the hundreds of millions of dollars in recreational cannabis sales thus far.  Unfortunately, there is a battle still being faced by many business professionals looking to open extraction facilities, testing labs and other non-dispensary entities. The battle being faced is one of zoning laws.

Just last year in Jeff Smith and Cassie Heckencamp spent almost $1,000,000 to purchase 19 acres just east of Walterville Oregon. Their plan was to open a 5,00 square foot indoor recreational marijuana grow and to eventually purchase the adjacent 16-acre field for a 40,000 square foot outdoor grow. Unfortunately, less than two week later this land was zoned as rural residential by the Lane County Board of Commissioners. This means that any commercial recreational marijuana cultivation on lands outside of the city were banned making Jeff and Cassie’s business plan impossible.

Meanwhile in Cottage Grove Oregon, Paul Hampshire and Rub McConnell are facing backlash from the community after they acquired an empty lot next to Bohemia Park with intentions to open a Co2 Extraction facility. While they will not be selling any products on site and have stated they will be screening the property from view with the use of wooden fence and new foliage, the community is repulsed by the thought of there being a recreational marijuana business so close to a park that often has children playing in it. This has Cottage Grove contemplating the idea of adding restrictive buffer zones around schools and parks that would ban recreational marijuana businesses from operating in the area.

If you have plans to open a recreational marijuana business in the state of Oregon, I highly suggest you do your research before making any land purchases to insure that you will be able to move forward with your business plan successfully as zoning regulations/restrictions are still very vague at this time.

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