OR: Marijuana Businesses Step Up

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Independence – Organic Investments submitted a site design review to the City of Independence for 16,840-square feet of greenhouses for growing cannabis, and a 8,740 square-foot building for processing of cannabis and office use.

Mark Jennings, of consulting firm Pure Botanicals, took part in a community meeting in January to discuss plans. Jennings said at that meeting there were no plans to grow plants on-site and that the company was interested in purchasing 1.2 acres. The majority of the people at the meeting spoke against the project.

The site design review submitted to the city now includes a greenhouse.

“My sense was (the community meeting) was just an effort to bring everyone to the table,” Joey Shearer, Independence contract planner, said. “Those informal meetings are useful to notify the neighbors when you have a new project, but it’s not a code requirement meeting. It doesn’t play an official role (in the decision).”

The submitted site design review is for two parcel frontings on the east side of Stryker Road, just south of the intersection with Skyraider Drive. The area is zoned for heavy industrial and would not require any rezoning.

Public comments will be accepted through Sept. 2.

The city’s decision on approving the site design review is only dependent on the development code.

“This decision has to be based on the decision criteria in the development code,” Shearer said. “Comments from everyone are most useful when they are specific and tied directly to development code criteria.”

Shearer said a timeline for decision is difficult to estimate and depends on the completeness and any potential issues with the site design review materials.

Organic Investments isn’t the only location looking to grow and/or process cannabis.

The former location of Lavender Lakes Farms, off highway 99W in Monmouth, was sold to Sol-Sisters, Inc. in April.

The farm is no longer selling lavender.

Sol-Sisters is part of a national nonprofit organization providing holistic health services. The organization received a recreational marijuana license in May.

Nine recreational marijuana growing licenses have been approved for Polk County as of Aug. 8.

A producer must establish cultivation batches, which may not have more than 100 immature plants, and assign each batch a unique identification number.

A producer may have an unlimited number of cultivation batches at any one time.

Canopy size limits are split into indoor and outdoor tiers. Indoor tier I producers are approved up to 5,000 square feet.

Tier II producers are approved from 5,001 to 10,000 square feet.

Outdoor production is also split into two tiers. Tier I is approved up to 20,000 square feet. Tier II is approved for 20,001 to 40,000 square feet. Square footage of canopy space is measured starting from the outer most point of the furthest mature flowering plant in a designated growing space and continues around the outside of all mature flowering plants located within the designated growing space.

A producer may designate multiple grow canopy areas at a licensed premise, but those spaces must be separated by a physical boundary, such as an interior wall or by at least 10 feet of open space.

Written comments about the plans for Organic Investments may be submitted to the City of Independence, 555 S. Main St., PO Box 7, Independence, 97351.

A copy of the application documents and evidence submitted by or on behalf of the applicant and applicable standards are available for inspection at City Hall.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana Businesses Step Up
Author: Lukas Eggen
Contact: (503) 623-2373
Photo Credit: Lukas Eggen
Website: Polk County Itemizer-Observer