Jackson County to form marijuana advisory group

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is forming a Marijuana Advisory Committee that will bring together people with a variety of views on the burgeoning marijuana industry.

"This is the first time we'll really be bringing these parties together in one setting," Commissioner Rick Dyer said.

The committee will provide recommendations to commissioners about marijuana issues, including those related to the production, processing, wholesaling and distribution of marijuana in the unincorporated areas of Jackson County.

Commissioners have identified local residents to fill most of the seats on the committee, but are still seeking applicants for two positions to be held by members of the general public.

People applying for those seats should disclose in their applications whether they are involved in the marijuana industry, are involved in non-marijuana agriculture or are rural property owners.

Commissioners have tapped Obie Strickler, founder and chief executive officer of Grown Rogue, to fill the seat representing medical marijuana interests.

Grown Rogue has outdoor grow locations, a large indoor extraction and distribution building and partnerships with dozens of dispensaries in Oregon, according to its website.

Commissioners chose Cheryl Johnson, owner of Rose Sol and West Coast Baked Goodness, for the recreational marijuana slot.

"She's definitely interested in making sure it's done legitimately and the industry proceeds in a way that protects people who want to do it legally and weeds out the bad actors," Dyer said.

Commissioners plan to see whether Elise Higley can fill the traditional, non-marijuana agriculture position on the advisory committee, he said.

An Applegate area farmer and director of the Our Family Farms Coalition, Higley helped spearhead an effort to ban genetically modified crops in the county.

Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler or his designee also will serve on the advisory committee.

Non-voting members will include the county development services director, the county watermaster or his designee and a commissioner, according to county officials.

Those interested in the general public seats can fill out an application at jacksoncountyor.org/Commissions-Committees. Application forms also can be requested by calling 541-774-6116. Completed applications can be submitted in person at 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Room 214, Medford.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19.

— Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

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