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Fences not always required for pot grows

I remember hearing that Oregon recently changed the requirements for marijuana fences, but I'm having a hard time getting a clear understanding of what that change is. Where can I get some clarity on the subject?

— Julie

The state did adjust rules on fences for recreational marijuana grows so that growers aren't specifically required to have a fence, said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates recreational marijuana.

A producer still has to effectively prevent public access to all areas of the licensed premises and screen all areas of marijuana production from public view, he said.

In tours of the state, officials saw that public access to grow sites could be prevented, in some cases, without a fence, Pettinger said.

For example, if a road leads to a secluded grow site and that road is gated and locked, the grower could potentially be exempt from having a fence, he said.

On the state's recreational marijuana producer application form, growers can check off that they plan to effectively prevent public access to the licensed premises with a 6-foot or higher fence or wall. A fence must have rigid wooden or metal posts securely anchored to the ground, with the fencing material made of chain link or solid, rigid material, such as wooden fencing planks.

Alternately, growers can check off that they will use methods other than fencing to prevent access. They must attach a detailed security plan that includes the actions and methods they will take.

Approving alternatives to fencing is at the discretion of OLCC and could add additional processing time to a producer license application, the form warns.

Jackson County previously adopted its own fence regulations after many residents complained about grow sites being screened from public view by plastic sheeting, tarps and other unsightly material.

Commercial marijuana grow sites are prohibited from using any temporary materials to screen a marijuana grow site. This includes tarps, hay bales, plastic sheeting or any other material that may easily detach or break down, according to county regulations.

A county building permit is required for any fence taller than 7 feet.

— 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. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.