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Marijuana growing rules adopted

Gone are the crowds, the long public comments or fervor around the rules for growing marijuana in the city of Ashland. When marijuana was first legalized in Oregon last summer, interested parties packed council chambers to weigh in. Tuesday night the rules were passed without fanfare. All council members voted in favor but one, Greg Lemhouse, on the second reading of an emergency ordinance regulating outdoor marijuana growing in Ashland.

With little discussion the city agreed to allow outdoor grows of recreational marijuana be limited to four plants, with up to six plants allowed if a resident has a medical marijuana card. As written, the original ordinance called for no difference between recreational and medical but the council raised the cap on first reading after a motion by Councilor Stefani Seffinger, who said it’s “the humane thing to do,” allowing more plants available to those who qualify for medical marijuana. 

There's no limit to the number of indoor plants per residential property, but it must be occupied and it must be primarily a home. 

The site of the grow must be no larger than 50 square feet with plants reaching no more than 10 feet high. The site must be at least 10 feet from the property line, at least 20 feet from other residences and closer to the grower's residence than to dwellings on neighboring properties. 

The city council also allows for a commercial operation of 5,000 square feet or less. 

The council had originally hoped to finish the formulation of rules at its Jan. 5 meeting. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules went into effect on Jan. 4, but city attorney David Lohman says applications cannot be considered complete by the OLCC until the city application process is complete, so he does not anticipate any issues around adopting the rules after Jan. 4.

Ashland freelance writer Julie Akins is a journalism instructor at SOU. Email her at akinsj@sou.edu and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/@julieakins.