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REDMOND — Processing industrial hemp will probably be legal in Redmond’s city limits by mid-October, which some city councilors say could bring a lot more jobs and financial chance to the area.

The Redmond City Council voted five-1 final week to amend city code to let the production of hemp in Redmond, with Councilor Jay Patrick the lone dissenting vote. The council will have a final vote Sept.10. The code amendments would take impact 30 days later.

According to a spokesperson from the U.S. Division of Agriculture, every single state can make a decision for itself regardless of whether it can make hemp and develop it in authorized areas. Processing and expanding hemp is legal in Oregon, according to the state Division of Agriculture, which regulates the crop.

The USDA plans to generate federal regulations for generating hemp by fall of 2019, according to the agency’s web page. The 2018 Federal Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, which are drugs that the federal government says have no accepted healthcare use and can simply be abused.

Patrick stated he desires to wait till the federal regulations are in location just before Redmond enables the processing of industrial hemp.

“The federal government is going to, by theory, going to OK it on their finish by year-finish,” he stated just after Tuesday’s meeting. “But they haven’t performed it however. I just cannot see generating that move till the federal government has changed.”

Mayor George Endicott stated he’s in favor of permitting hemp production.

“If the feds are functioning on it, we must be postured when the time comes,” he stated.

Industrial hemp consists of all nonseed components of the cannabis plant, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the psychoactive compound in marijuana — of significantly less than .three%.

The proposed addition to Redmond’s city code specifies that the only regions exactly where processing hemp will be permitted are these zoned as “heavy industrial,” which implies it would only come about on the east side of U.S. Highway 97, north of the Redmond airport. The proposed code also states that odors from the hemp processing cannot be noticeable from the house line of the land it is grown on.

Hemp has develop into a important money generator in Oregon. The crop is projected to make a lot more than $1 billion in income in Oregon, and the state contained 20,278 acres of hemp farm by March. Deschutes County is the third-biggest Oregon county for expanding hemp, only behind Jackson and Josephine counties, as of March.

Industrial hemp is made use of in thousands of items containing CBD, or cannabidiol, which some claim can be made use of for treating a selection of ailments. It is also grown for fiber and other utilizes.

In the course of a Redmond City Council operate session June 18, Jon Stark, manager of financial-­development nonprofit Redmond Financial Improvement Inc., stated other Central Oregon communities currently have hemp processing plants, which includes Prineville and Bend. He also stated that lately, a firm wanted to use a 40,000-square-foot constructing as a hemp processing plant, and he had to turn them down mainly because the city didn’t let it.

“The financial chance … is passing us by,” Stark stated. “We assume there could be a extended-term play for this item getting manufactured in communities like Redmond.”

Many city councilors stated they hoped to see Redmond let hemp processing.

“I think that it is taking place, and we could possibly as properly move forward,” councilor ­Ginny McPherson stated.

Councilor Camden King stated he was worried that if Redmond does not legalize industrial hemp processing, the city could lag behind other Central Oregon cities in delivering decent-wage jobs.

“We’re hampering existing firms that would like to innovate and create and capture industry share early,” he stated. “(Let’s) step on the gas.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7854, [email protected]

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