Pair of Oregon bills aim to crack down on growers of illegal cannabis

The Oregon House of Representatives passed two bills this week that seek to crack down on illegal cannabis-growing operations in the state.

The House passed HB4061, which would ban illegal cannabis growers from using municipal water sources to water their crops, by a vote of 57-0. Currently, growers of illegal cannabis rely on water obtained from municipal fill stations where anyone can fill a container of water for their personal use.

The cannabis growers have been placing a burden on these municipal water supplies in Southern Oregon particularly, where drought conditions have plagued the region for months. The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail or a $6,250 fine, to haul municipal water to an illegal cannabis grow site. 

A second bill, SB1564, aimed at wiping out illegal cannabis in the state would require the state Department of Agriculture to temporarily halt giving out hemp growing licenses in areas that have declared states of emergency over illegal cannabis growers, because while hemp is legal, it can be difficult to differentiate between hemp and cannabis crops. The temporary ban on new hemp licenses would give law enforcement a chance to eliminate illegal cannabis crops.

“Law enforcement asked us to temporarily pause the spread of hemp acreage to improve their ability to deal with bad actors,” said Sen. Jeff Golden, (D-Ashland). “Because conditions vary across the state, this bill gives local government the key role of making the call.”

SB1564 passed the House by a vote of 23-1. Both bills will now move to the Oregon Senate for a vote.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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