Unregulated Cannabis Farms Comprise Majority of Oregon Water Use Violations

The Oregon Water Resources Department has seen a 160% increase this year in Notice of Violations which have been issued primarily to unregulated cannabis farms in the state.

Full story after the jump.

Of 104 Notice of Violations issued this year by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), 89 of them were related to unregulated cannabis production, News 10 reports. In all the agency has seen a 160% increase this year in Notice of Violations issued to unregulated cannabis farms compared to 2021 totals.  

As of October 6, the agency issued 104 Notice of Violations statewide compared to 40 last year and 41 in 2020.  

Jake Johnstone, OWRD interim administrator of field services, said the increase is “a direct result from the additional staffing” the agency received in Senate Bill 5561, which was passed during a special session last year.  

The bill included $5 million for the agency “for the expansion and enhancement of water rights enforcement activities,” according to the bill text. 

“The majority of these NOVs are fair to say associated with raid operations, so these are situations where law enforcement, state or county, is serving a warrant. Frankly that’s one of the more safe scenarios that our staff have an opportunity to pursue water compliance under.” — Johnstone to News 10  

The Notice of Violation (NOV) is not a civil or criminal penalty, but rather a notice to any water user that they are violating state water regulations and must either terminate water use or resolve the violations to avoid further penalty. Civil penalties come at the end of the process. OWRD has not issued any violations this year to licensed cannabis operators.  

According to OWRD, compliance is achieved by unlicensed cannabis operations when the site is completely shut down. The Notices of Violation stands for three years and were the operator to resume their illegal water activity during that timeframe, the agency would continue the enforcement process, including issuing civil penalties.  

Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe

Have an additional perspective to share? Send us a message to let us know, and if your comment is chosen by our editors it could be featured here.

Sponsor message:

End


Latest Cannabis News

View all news Get email updates

Create a profile View all categories

From Our Partners