A county in southern Oregon is asking for more help to tackle a flood of illegal marijuana crops, declaring a state of emergency and calling for the governor and legislators to intervene.
According to the Associated Press, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners said county and state regulators, as well as law enforcement, are overrun by unlicensed cannabis growers.
The board asked for help in its fight against illegal operators in a letter sent to the governor of Oregon. Kate Brown, Speaker of the Senate, Peter Courtney, and Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek.
The commission said the situation is leading to an “imminent threat to the public health and safety of our citizens from the illegal production of cannabis in our county.”
The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission began inspecting hemp crops in the southern part of the state in August to root out illegal cannabis growers.
In September, more than 100 licensed hemp growers in the region were found to be growing marijuana illegally, according to the OLCC.
And, according to the commissioners’ letter, Jackson County regulators had issued nearly 700 code violations related to marijuana production or processing in September, more than double the number in all of 2016.
The OLCC also recently recommended that state lawmakers continue a moratorium on new marijuana growing licenses until 2024.