Marijuana Land Use Regulations

On Oct. 25, 2016, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) adopted B-Engrossed Ordinance No. 810, which added land use regulations to the Community Development Code (CDC) for new commercial recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated Washington County. The regulations became effective Nov. 25, 2016.

Under the new regulations, a land use application must be submitted to the Department of Land Use & Transportation (LUT), Current Planning section prior to establishing a recreational marijuana production (grow) facility, processing facility or retail outlet to sell recreational marijuana commercially. Land use review is also required prior to the onset of new testing/lab facilities for commercial recreational marijuana and for certain wholesale marijuana businesses. Key elements of the ordinance include:

  • Prohibiting all recreational marijuana businesses in the County’s two Future Development Districts.

  • Prohibiting commercial marijuana growing in urban residential areas.

  • Requiring odor control  for all indoor marijuana growing and processing.

  • Requiring 50-foot setbacks from all property lines for outdoor growing operations outside the Urban Growth Boundary.

  • Limiting the number of commercial recreational marijuana business licensees of each type (production, processing, wholesale, retail or testing) to one per lot of record.

A summary of B-Engrossed Ordinance No. 810 is available here. Please visit  B-Engrossed Ordinance No. 810 on the County's land use ordinance webpage for Planning Commission and Board staff reports and CDC amendments.

Applications for a County Land Use Compatibility Statement will not be accepted until an approved land use decision has been issued (see below). 


Land Use Compatibility Statements (LUCS)

People interested in establishing a commercial business to grow, process and test recreational marijuana, or who are interested in operating a wholesale or retail recreational marijuana business must submit a completed Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS) form to the LUT Current Planning section prior to initiating the start of business. County staff will either approve or reject the LUCS within 21 days from the date of submittal. The signed LUCS confirms to applicants and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) that a proposed marijuana-related commercial activity is compatible with County zoning, as required under state law. 

Individuals that wish to engage in any of the marijuana business activities noted above will need to first obtain land use approval for the proposed use from the LUT Current Planning section. Once the land use application is approved, the applicant should then submit the LUCS and all associated documentation for County review. The LUCS form will indicate any additional steps the applicant needs to complete to comply with County development and building codes.

Medical marijuana dispensary owners wishing to convert their facility to a retail recreational marijuana facility after Nov. 25, 2016, are required to submit a land use application and obtain an approved LUCS from the County prior to initiating business operations.


Checklist - Washington County Submittal Requirements for an OLCC Marijuana Land Use Compatibility Statement

Retail marijuana facilities

On Oct. 27, 2015, the Board adopted A-Engrossed Ordinance No. 804, which amended CDC regulations specific to medical marijuana dispensaries and created new regulations applicable to retail recreational marijuana facilities. The ordinance regulates medical and retail operations identically and allows both types in the same land use districts. Buffer requirements and minor text updates were also included.  Development standards that regulate retail marijuana facilities are found in Community Development Code Section 430-80.  


Personal Use

In accordance with state law, a land use compatibility statement and land use permit are not required in Washington County for personal use of up to four marijuana plants and/or the possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.  Additional information is available from the Oregon OLCC.



October 2016: B-Engrossed Ordinance 810 is adopted, establishing land use regulations for commercial recreational marijuana uses in Washington County.Effective Nov. 25, 2016.

September 2016 - Temporary rules for Recreational Marijuana become effective as permanent. Regulations are found in Oregon Administrative Rule 845, Division 25.

October 2015 - The OLCC released temporary rules to regulate the recreational marijuana industry. These rules are expected to remain in effect from Jan. 1 to June 28, 2016.  The Washington County Board of County Commissioners adopts A-Engrossed Ordinance No. 804.

June 30, 2015 - The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3400, which provided guidance to the OLCC in formulating state rules that address the requirements of the ballot measure.

November 2014 - Oregon voters approved Statewide Ballot Measure 91, which allows personal use and possession of recreational marijuana subject to Oregon law. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is tasked with developing and implementing state regulations for recreational marijuana.

October 28, 2014 - Board adopted A-Engrossed Ordinance No. 792, which became effective on November 28, 2014. It adopted county regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries and ended the temporary moratorium imposed by Ordinance No. 781.

April 22, 2014 - Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 781 implementing a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensary facilities until local regulations could be adopted.

March 19, 2014 - Oregon Senate Bill 1531 became effective. It authorized local jurisdictions to adopt reasonable regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries, and included provisions allowing local jurisdictions to adopt a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries through May 1, 2015.  


For information on land use requirements for development of a marijuana facility, contact the LUT Current Planning section at 503-846-8761.