On August 19th, 2019, the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to opt out of the establishment of “future marijuana production and processing businesses” in unincorporated Deschutes County pending a county-wide referendum vote in November 2020. According to the County, it intended the ban to affect only “future” marijuana businesses. However, we have been receiving differing opinions from the OLCC and Deschutes County regarding which businesses are actually affected. Moreover, the state statute under which the County adopted the ban leaves room for interpretation. Does the ban apply to: (1) businesses who have yet to submit an OLCC application, (2) businesses who have pending, but unapproved applications in to OLCC, (3) businesses who have not yet received their Land Use Compatibility Statements (LUCSes), but have pending County applications, (4) businesses with existing OLCC licensees that are up for renewal, or (5) some or all of the above?
We are at work analyzing the applicable laws and are working with clients and public officials to get to the bottom of the ban and clarify who it affects and how. If you have questions about how this ban may affect your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Emerge for assistance.