There's an emotional debate going on right now in Josephine County around cannabis farming and its effects. While there are loud voices on both sides of the debate, there has been one voice that has been thoughtful and measured, and that's the voice of our state representative, Carl Wilson.
Recently, Rep. Wilson wrote a letter to our county commissioners, urging caution and patience in writing restrictive laws for our nascent commercial cannabis industry. This sort of "big picture" thinking is a welcome reprieve from the intense emotional debate that's happening right now.
Rep. Wilson's letter reminded the commissioners of a huge set of new regulations passed at the state level, namely SB 1057 and HB 2198. The county should allow time for these regulations to take shape before drastically restricting cannabis cultivation in our county. These newly passed state regulations are significantly altering the cannabis industry in Oregon and will likely fix many of the issues the commissioners are trying to change.
While there are some cannabis farmers who are poor neighbors, the vast majority are hard-working local families who strive to be good neighbors and conscientious community members. Our local cannabis industry is one of the biggest economic engines that Josephine County has ever seen, and with proper stewarding it can continue. Let's heed Rep. Wilson's advice. Let's move slowly and allow the new state regulations to take shape. Let's work with our cannabis community, and we can craft a working solution for the whole community.
MICHAEL M. JOHNSON