As the state crafts laws around legal marijuana growing, Benton County is trying to restrict where it will be grown. The Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved land use code amendments concerning commercial marijuana.
Commissioners voted to restrict commercial marijuana growing to forest conservation, farm and county industrial zones. The amendments to the development code would also limit where processing and wholesaling of commercial pot can take place.
Rick Osborn is with Benton County. He says the amendments are particular to the area and go beyond the state’s proposed code.
Osborn: “These amendments were put into place, and it’s a little more restrictive than it might otherwise be, because it’s far easier to loosen up the development code as time goes on than it is to place new restrictions.”
Tuesday’s decision was a first reading of the ordinance. The county will take public comment until the second reading on November 24th. If approved, the ordinance will become a part of county code in December. The state will begin licensing commercial marijuana growers and retailers on Jan 1st.