We are looking to provide resources for property owners considering leasing their land
for the cultivation of cannabis. We are finding many land leasers have been less than honest with the property owners about what they are cultivating, as well as what permitting and licensing have been obtained.
While the individuals leasing the land have been cited for multiple violations, and in some cases arrested, the property owner may also be held liable (civilly and/or criminally) for what is occurring on their land. I am encouraging you to do your due diligence prior to leasing out your property, and to ensure those wishing to cultivate cannabis on your land are properly permitted and licensed.
Q: HOW DO I KNOW IF THE GROW OPERATION ON MY LAND IS LEGAL?
A: Identifying the legality of a private cannabis operation can be complicated. The best way to ensure your land is properly permitted/licensed is to check the lessee’s permit. Here are a few examples of what the permits/licenses should look like:
Hemp: To confirm the land leaser’s Hemp license, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the person’s name and grow site address.
Download a sample Hemp license from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).
Reminder: ODA usually issues Grower and Grow Site registrations simultaneously and the grow site can’t be approved until a property for growing is already secured, so a potential lessee won’t have a registration to show a lessor before an agreement to use the land is finalized.
Medical Marijuana: Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cannot confirm or deny a person’s medical marijuana grow status.
Recreational: Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) cannot confirm or deny a person’s status.
Download a sample recreational marijuana license.
Q: AS THE PROPERTY OWNER, CAN I BE HELD LIABLE FOR STRUCTURES BUILT ON MY LAND BY CANNABIS GROWERS?
A: Depending on the circumstances the property owner could be held liable for Douglas County Building Code violations, such as violations for nonpermitted structures built on their property
Q: AS THE PROPERTY OWNER, CAN I BE PENALIZED BY OREGON OSHA IF THE LESSEE FAILS TO REGISTER AS A FARM LABOR CAMP/FACILITY?
A: In some cases, there could be penalties levied by Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), depending on the circumstances. Here are a few of the penalties and dollar amounts you could be liable for violating the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR):
OAR 437-001-0171 Determination of Penalty - Failure to Register a Farm Labor Camp/Facility: If an operator, employer, or contractor fails to register a Farm Labor Camp or facility with Oregon OSHA as required in Division 4/J, OAR 437-004-1120(5)(b), a penalty of not less than $250 shall be assessed.
OAR 437-004-1120(5)(b)(B) Agricultural Labor Housing and Related Facilities: (5)(b) Each year, before occupancy, the operator or employer must register agricultural labor housing and related facilities with Oregon OSHA as set out below:
(B)If the housing and related facilities were not registered in the previous year, the operator must call Oregon OSHA to request a consultation visit to the housing. Oregon OSHA will register housing and related facilities not previously registered only after a pre-occupancy consultation that finds the housing or facility to be substantially in compliance with all applicable safety and health rules.
OAR 437-001-0175 Determination of Penalty - Willful or Egregious Violation: For a willful violation, after applying appropriate adjustments based on the employer’s size, the base penalty will normally be multiplied by 25. The Administrator may instead, at his or her discretion, assess a penalty between $9,753 and $135,653 based on the facts. For egregious violations, the Administrator may assess a separate willful penalty, after appropriate adjustments based on the employer’s size, for each instance a violation.
Review all of OSHA’s General Administrative Rules.
Q: AS A PROPERTY OWNER, CAN I BE HELD LIABLE FOR OREGON OSHA LABOR VIOLATIONS THAT OCCUR ON MY PROPERTY?
A: Depending on the circumstances, the property owner could be held liable for labor violations. Here are some links to Oregon OSHA Agriculture Employers rules and info:
- Local Emphasis Program (LEP): Heat stress PD
- Water rest and Shade
- Heat stress card
- Local Emphasis Program (LEP): Field sanitation
- Field sanitation for agricultural hand labor
- Local Emphasis Program (LEP): Pesticides
- Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
- Guidelines for Scheduling and Conducting Inspections of Agriculture Labor Housing
- Labor Housing Inspection Checklist
Q: As a property owner, can I be held liable for water use violations that occur on my property?
A: In some cases, the property owner could incur civil and criminal penalties based on water use violations that occur on their property. The most common violation is unauthorized use of water:
ORS 540.720 Unauthorized Use or Waste of Water: No person shall use without authorization water to which another person is entitled, or willfully waste water to the detriment of another. The possession or use of such water without legal right shall be prima facie evidence of the guilt of the person using it.
Criminal Penalties: Per ORS 540.990, Violation of ORS 540.720 is a Class B misdemeanor.
Civil Penalties: Per OAR Chapter 690, Division 260, violation of ORS 540.720 can also include civil penalties in the sum of up to $1000 per day if not corrected within the specified time.
Q: Where can I find more information about cannabis production in Douglas County?
A: If you have any further questions, please contact the relevant agency.
For building code questions call: Douglas County Building Department at (541) 440-4559.
For code enforcement questions call (541) 440-4289 or file written complaint
For water use questions call our local District 15 Watermaster’s office at (541) 440-4255.
To report potential criminal activity call:
Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (541) 440-4474 or Submit a Drug Report Form
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (541) 440-4471 or Submit an Online Crime Tip Form