In June 2021, the State of Oregon Employment Department published a report illustrating the growth of the state’s legal marijuana industry. In April 2021, recreational marijuana sales hit a record high (at that time) of $110.5 million–a 23.5% increase as compared to the same month a year earlier. Not surprisingly, harvest productions are also on the rise to meet this growing demand. With abundant farmland available throughout the state, many entrepreneurs are considering growing legal crops of marijuana. However, unlike most other agricultural crops, there is a requirement to file a land use compatibility statement and receive a formal land use approval for marijuana farming in Oregon.
What is a land use compatibility statement?
In order to obtain a license from the Oregon Liquor and Control Commission (OLCC) to grow marijuana on a property, the OLCC requires a land use compatibility statement (LUCS) from the planning authority that oversees the land use regulations associated with that property. Land use regulations define for what purposes a plot of land can be used based on that property’s zoning district. A land use activity can meet one of three conditions within these regulations:
- It’s acceptable within the property’s zoning district.
- It’s prohibited within the property’s zoning district.
- It’s acceptable within the property’s zoning district, subject to the approval of a formal land use application(s). For example, in Jackson County, marijuana farming is required to obtain approval of a formal Type I application from the Jackson County Planning Department prior to establishing the marijuana farm.
A LUCS is a confirmation from a city or county Planning Department to the OLCC that the marijuana farm is allowed to be established within the property’s zoning district.
Formal Land Use Application
If the city or county planning authority confirms on the LUCS that the marijuana farm will require approval of a formal land use application, the marijuana farm will not be considered legal until that approval is obtained, even if the OLCC issues a license for marijuana farming to the farmer. The formal land use application is the local planning authority’s process for ensuring that the marijuana farm will comply with the applicable rules, such as lighting restrictions, security camera requirements, fencing components, and lawful water usage.
Do you need assistance to file a LUCS or obtain land use approval for Marijuana Farming?
If you’re interested in using a parcel of land for a new purpose, contact the professionals at Richard Stevens & Associates. We assist our clients with all work related to rural and urban land use planning permits and zoning laws. Our team will work to understand your needs and help you understand the legal processes involved to help you achieve your goals.