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State officials ask Oregonians to share how illegal hemp, cannabis grows affect them

illegal cannabis operation

OUTHERN OREGON, Ore. — State and county officials are hoping to hear from Southern Oregon residents on the impacts of illegal hemp and cannabis grows have on their communities.

On Tuesday, Oregon State Rep. Pam Marsh is hosting the virtual community forum to discuss the issues which have increased with the illegal cultivations, including water usage, working conditions, and permitting.

“There is a real sense of concern that so many operations seem to have a level of comfort in running illegal operations within our community, it is shocking, and I think it’s not acceptable,” Marsh said.

The issue has become so severe, Jackson County declared a state of an emergency on October 13 over the increase in illegal cannabis farms throughout the region.

County commissioners are hoping the state will assist in helping local agencies enforce regulations.

“The regulatory agencies have gone into some of these sites, and they have seen worker conditions that none of us would find acceptable very limited sanitation people living in hoop houses or container operations in some cases I think we found children on-site,” Marsh said.

She said the meeting will include presentations from local agencies on what they discovered on illegal grow sites over the summer.

Marsh said the group will discuss possible solutions and what state and county officials are currently doing to address the issue.

The virtual community forum is Tuesday, October 26 at 6:30 pm.

Marsh said now is the time to put policies in place and have the proper funding to be able to enforce them before the next growing season begins in the region.

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