JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- Jackson County Board of Commissioners say they are dealing with a swift and alarming increase in cannabis-related complaints.
Though legitimate, licensed cannabis and hemp grows have been prevalent in Jackson County for the past several years, the Sheriff's Office recently began sounding the alarm about an influx of illegal grows. This is where the complication comes in.
Officials say, because of the nature of the industry, cannabis-related complaints and violations of the county's codes differ from other types of complaints and violations.
On Wednesday, the Board voted in favor of establishing separate policy and procedures specifically for cannabis-related complaints and violations of the county codes, in order to address these differences and to maintain an effective code enforcement program.
"Currently, as you know, code enforcement has three officers and one office assistant for supportive services . . . and all of our staff are managing exceptionally high case loads," said County administrator Danny Jordan.
To date, Jackson County code enforcement has 988 active cases.
Officers say with this increase in workload, the number of complaints from citizens regarding effective code enforcement for cannabis related cases has also risen dramatically.
Oregon State Police said that it worked with local code and law enforcement last week in a raid that targeted two adjacent properties east of White City, both the site of major illegal grow operations. Investigators seized and destroyed nearly 53,000 plants, while serving the property owners with citations for the violations of local codes and regulations.