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Pot-grow ban doesn't hit urban growth boundary

I live in the urban growth boundary around Medford. I was hoping to grow marijuana in my backyard but worry the city's ban on growing could affect me. Could you let me know if the ban on backyard marijuana grows in the city of Medford applies to my property?

— Jerry, rural Medford

Actually, Jerry, you're in luck. The ban on backyard grows applies only to residents living inside the city limits of Medford. Those outside the urban growth boundary aren't subject to the ban, according to Kevin McConnell, deputy city attorney.

However, we suggest that you also contact Jackson County to make sure your property is zoned appropriately for growing marijuana. And you should also double-check to make sure you are, in fact, in the urban growth boundary and not in the city.

Medford voters last November approved a ban on outdoor gardens after some local residents objected to the odor of plants growing in their neighborhoods. 

Under the new law, residents could grow indoors, including possibly in greenhouses, as long as neighbors don’t complain about the odor. The city has an odor ordinance that could apply to indoor or greenhouse grows.

Medford residents who decide to grow, despite the new law, could be approached by code enforcement officers if neighbors complain. Residents with marijuana plants in their backyard would be warned to pull out the plants. If they didn't heed the warning, they could be subject to a $250-a-day fine.

The outdoor growing ban applies to both medical and recreational cannabis, Jerry.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.