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OLCC sets sights on illegal marijuana grows in Jackson and Josephine counties

With new legislation in place, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) indicated on Monday that it would be putting more attention to the issue of illegal marijuana in southern Oregon.

Posted: Jul 19, 2021 4:13 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2021 4:14 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — With new legislation in place, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) indicated on Monday that it would be putting more attention to the issue of illegal marijuana in southern Oregon as local agencies struggle to keep up with the sheer volume of grow operations.

Representative Lily Morgan championed House Bill 3000, which was drafted to bridge the enforcement gap. It directs the OLCC to work with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and other state and local agencies to crack down on illegal grows.

“What’s going on in southern Oregon with the cartel takeover of cannabis growing through the guise of hemp and our role in being able to enforce that is all incredibly important,” said OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks. “We and our partners are poised to begin eradicating this illegal activity, to bring stability to disrupted communities starting in Jackson and Josephine counties, and to ensure that our legal, licensed, tax-paying cannabis licensees aren’t being undermined by illegal market activity.”

According to the OLCC, HB 3000 also puts the chemicals extracted from marijuana and hemp under stricter control. The agency helped provide technical support to legislators on the issue.

"Currently Delta-8-THC, which is chemically extracted from hemp, can be sold to children at neighborhood convenience stores; House Bill 3000 requires the OLCC to keep THC products away from kids," the agency said in a statement.

Effective August 2, the OLCC's official name will change to the "Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission" (it will remain the OLCC).

In both Jackson and Josephine counties, a coalition of law enforcement and other agencies have stepped up raids on illegal marijuana grows since the beginning of the year. Investigators raided a small "compound" north of Eagle Point on July 15, preceded on July 13 by a series of raids in Josephine County.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
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Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
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Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
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Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
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Alameda980131290
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Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
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