COOS BAY — At Tuesday’s Coos Bay City Council meeting, members of the council discussed updating commercial marijuana regulations within city limits in order to continue to receive state tax revenue for marijuana products.

The major change being proposed would modify agriculture and marijuana definitions in the city’s municipal code to specify that indoor marijuana grows can be permitted in industrial/commercial areas, and all agricultural outdoor growing, except marijuana, may be conditionally permitted in industrial/commercial areas.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission imposes and collects a state tax on marijuana grown, processed and sold in the state. Oregon cities and counties with marijuana business regulations which allow for each of these functions are provided with a revenue share of these taxes quarterly.

Previously, the city has received on average $50,000 per year of state revenue sharing of collected marijuana tax. Marijuana tax revenue is used to support public safety, as well as the South Coast Inter-Agency Narcotics Team.

“Oregon cities and counties that have regulations for these different types of marijuana businesses can participate in the revenue sharing,” Coos Bay community development administrator Carolyn Johnson said.

Making this change could increase marijuana tax revenue by up to $60,000.

Councilors opened a public hearing last night, but decided not to vote on the matter in order to allow members of the public a chance to comment. Another public hearing, along with a decision on the matter was scheduled for June 4.

The draft ordinance includes the following:

- Modifications to the definitions noted in 17.150

- A deletion of the current definition of agriculture and replacement with two new agriculture definitions, one for agriculture indoor uses which would allow for profit or subsistence indoor growing of all agriculture products, including marijuana and the second for agricultural outdoor uses that would allow growing of all agricultural products, except for marijuana.

- Deletion of the current marijuana processing definition and replacement with six different definitions related to marijuana, including processing, producer, sales, and wholesale activities.

- Addition of a definition of organic.

- Addition of standards in Section 17.335.080.

These would include:

- Indoor Marijuana-Related Businesses identifying the requirement for indoor marijuana grows inside

- the location of marijuana businesses

- outdoor storage

- requirements for compliance with site plan review and specification of design criteria for processing and production facilities

- disposal

- light and glare

- compliance with the Building Code

- property owner claim waiver requirement from holding the City liable for damages

- a requirement for compliance with State of Oregon licensing and regulations

- a limit on the size of floor area for marijuana production

- a prohibition of drive-up facilities or use related to. 

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.