Andrew Filer

Washington’s Douglas County Proposes Banning Outdoor Cannabis Production

A proposal in Douglas County, Washington seeks to limit the state-licensed marijuana production in the county to only indoor locations.

The proposal also targets odors originating from cannabis companies of all types. “No marijuana producer, processor or retailer shall emit excessive odors detectable at any lot line of the property of the marijuana production, processing or retail sales,” reads one section of the drafted county code amendments.

The legislation shines light on an unfortunate and ongoing bias against legal cannabis that has been propagated by elected officials, some of whom would rather see the industry pushed underground and out-of-sight than have it flourish in plain view.

Jedidiah Haney, Board Secretary of The Cannabis Alliance, said in a phone interview that such a move would only perpetuate some of the industry’s most alarming environmental impacts, specifically in regards to energy consumption. “If you put this in the agricultural spectrum, this is pretty crazy — it’s pretty extreme,” he said.

According to Haney, the growing costs of indoor cannabis already amount to one percent of the national energy infrastructure. “You can’t sustain indoor agriculture on those rates,” he said.

Farmer Tom Lauerman of Farmer Tom Organics believes the outdoor ban would be “missing out on a lot of job opportunities.”

Lauerman, who is known for his advocacy work on behalf of heritage cannabis growers and the smaller marijuana farms that have struggled to persevere through Washington’s flooded retail market, said that “With the amount of cannabis that’s being sold out there on the recreational market, any county that turns down [outdooor growing] is really taking a step backwards.”

There will be an informational open house on the subject that will lead into a more formal public review process — these events have not yet been scheduled, however.

The full draft of the proposed Douglas County Code amendments is available online.

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