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Local Food, Economic Development and Community Self-Governance Ordinance of 2012

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Section 1. Name. This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Food, Economic Development and Community Self-Governance Ordinance.”

Section 2. Definitions. As used in this ordinance:

(a) “Patron” means an individual who is the last person to purchase any product or preparation directly from a processor or producer and who does not resell the product or preparation.

(b) “Home consumption” means consumed within a private home.

(c) “Local Foods” means any food or food product that is grown, produced, or processed by individuals who sell directly to their patrons through farm-based sales or buying clubs, at farmers markets, roadside stands, fundraisers or at community social events.

(d) “Processor” means any individual who processes or prepares products of the soil, fiber or animals for food or drink.

(e) “Producer” means any farmer or gardener who grows any plant, fiber or animal for food or drink.

(f) “Community social event” means an event where people gather as part of a community for the benefit of those gathering, or for the community, including but not limited to a church or religious social, school event, potluck, neighborhood gathering, library meeting, traveling food sale, fundraiser, craft fair, farmers market and other public events.

(g) “Agri-Industry” means any horticultural or agricultural business Josephine County may consider a viable method for enhancing the economic well being of its citizenry.

(h) “Agri-Products” means any plant, animal, product and/or commodity that is derived from something grown or raised.

(i) “Hemp” means the agricultural commodity of industrial Cannabis sativa which is grown for non-medicinal puroses only. THC content of industrial hemp will strive to conform to state standards.

(j) “Hemp Producer” means anyone licensed by Josephine County to plant, grow, and/or harvest the commodity of Hemp within Josephine County borders.

(k) “THC” – Tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive substance found in varying concentrations in the cannabis plant.

(l) “Fast-Tracked” - means the expediting of the licensing process for new and existing businesses.

(m) “County Land” - Land held in trust by the county for the betterment of the county's citizens.

Section 3. Preamble and Purpose.

We the People of Josephine County, Oregon have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods and plants, and develop new agri-industry thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions while growing new industry for the economic betterment of our citizens. We recognize that family farms, sustainable agricultural practices, and food processing by individuals, families, non-corporate and county sanctioned locally operated corporate entities offer stability to our rural way of life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community. As such, our right to a local food and agriculture industry system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to Josephine County. We have faith in our citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions. We hold that federal and state regulations impede local food and agri-products production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods and agri-products of their choice. We support food and agri-products that fundamentally respect human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers, processors and the environment. We are therefore duty bound under the Constitution of the State of Oregon to protect and promote unimpeded access to local foods and to protect the right of the farmers to choose what crop they grow within the provisions set forth herein.

The purpose of the Local Food, Economic Development and Community Self-Governance Ordinance is to:

(i) Provide citizens with unimpeded access to local food;

(ii) Enhance the local economy by promoting the production and purchase of local agricultural products;

(iii) Protect access to farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm based sales and direct producer to patron sales;

(iv) Support the economic viability of local food producers and processors;

(v) Preserve community social events where local foods are served or sold;

(vi) Preserve local knowledge and traditional foodways;

(vii) Allow for the growth and production of industrial hemp and any and all derivatives thereof.

Section 4. Authority.

This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the inherent, inalienable, and fundamental right of the citizens of Josephine County to self-government, and under the authority recognized as belonging to the people of Josephine County by all relevant state and federal laws including, but not limited to the following:

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, which declares that governments are instituted to secure peoples’ rights, and that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

Article I, Section 1 of the Oregon Constitution, titled, “Natural rights inherent in people,” states: “We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.– ”

Oregon Revised Statute 576.019: Discrimination against any product or dealer prohibited. In the performance of duties, under ORS 576.006 to 576.022, no official or employee of the State Department of Agriculture shall discriminate against any farm or food product, or against any producer, processor, distributor or dealer of any such products. [1955 c.572 §5]

Section 5. Statements of Law.

Section 5.1. Licensure/Inspection/Enforcement. Hemp Producers must be licensed by Josephine County and hemp crops will be open to inspection and testing and enforcement by the Josephine County Sheriff's Department to ensure it meets defined guidelines. Crops found in licensed farms with higher yields of state prescribed THC content will be utilized for non-food related industrial items. Non-licensed hemp producers will be considered as producing the illegal substance of marijuana. No pieces, portions, or by-products of the industrial crop can be removed prior to harvesting by the licensed Hemp Producer or for testing purposes by the Sheriff's Department or a County assigned testing agent. Any removal by individuals except for the purposes above, will be considered a crime, enforced by the Sheriff's Department.

Section 5.1.a. Cost of Enforcement/Inspections. The costs associated with the security, enforcement and/or testing will be included in the licensing fees, which are to be determined by the county.

Section 5.1.b. Hemp Test Plot. The viability of Indiustrial Hemp as a commodity for local production will first be tested on land owned by Josephine County before opening the licensing process to private land owners, unless a waiver is obtained from the board of county commissioners. The test will be considered a success when one plot of land, not to be under 2.5 acres in size, is successfully planted, harvested, and portions of the crop are sold for the purpose of commercialization.

Section 5.1.c. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in Josephine County are exempt from licensure and inspection, other than what may be required by county health, provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for local consumption. This includes any producer or processor who sells his or her products at farmers’ markets or roadside stands; sells his or her products through farm-based sales directly to a patron; or delivers his or her products directly to patrons.

Section 5.1.d. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in Josephine County are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that their products are prepared for, consumed, or sold at a community social event.

Section 5.1.e. Licensure of Hemp Producers. Individuals and/or companies interested in growing industrial hemp on county-owned land must pass a background check, sign a contract with the county and pay a fee - a contracted percentage of gross profit gained from any crops. This fee will be waived for one year from the date of this passage, or from the time of first planting, to be determined by county contract. Growing hemp on private land will remain prohibited unless landowner is approved for a county permit. Private industrial Hemp Producer permit terms and fees are to be determined by the county.

Section 5.1.f. Licensure of Agri-Industry hemp related companies. Companies moving to Josephine County, within 3 years of the passage of this ordinance, from outside of Josephine County for the purpose of manufacturing hemp related products will be fast-tracked and enjoy a reduction in permit fees associated with the start-up of their businesses – amount to be determined by the board of county commissioners. Also, any person or business within Josephine County who begins a new company manufacturing hemp related products will enjoy a reduction in permit fees associated with the start of their business – amount to be determined by the board of county commissioners.

Section 5.2. Right to Access and Produce Food. Josephine County citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.

Section 5.3. Right to Self-Governance. All citizens of Josephine County possess the right to a form of governance which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent.

Section 5.4. Right to Enforce. Josephine County citizens possess the right to adopt measures which prevent the violation of the rights enumerated in this Ordinance.

Section 6. Statement of Law.

Implementation. The following restrictions and provisions serve to implement the preceding statements of law.

Section 6.1. State and Federal Law. It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. It shall be unlawful for any corporation to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. The term “corporation” shall mean any business entity organized under the laws of any state or country.

Section 6.2. Patron Liability Protection. Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect. Individuals/businesses entering into these private agreements should do so with the knowledge the county has no culpability and does not ensure the safety of this food.

Section 7. Civil Enforcement.

Josephine County will enforce the provisions of this Ordinance through seeking equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction. Any individual citizen of Josephine County shall have standing to vindicate any rights secured by this ordinance which have been violated or which are threatened with violation, and may seek relief both in the form of injunctive and compensatory relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.

Section 8. County Action against Pre-emption.

The foundation for making and adoption of this law is the peoples’ fundamental and inalienable right to govern themselves, and thereby secure their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Any attempt to use other units and levels of government to preempt, amend, alter or overturn this Ordinance or parts of this Ordinance shall require the County to hold public meetings that explore the adoption of other measures that expand local control and the ability of citizens to protect their fundamental and inalienable right to self-government. It is declared that those other measures may legitimately include the partial or complete separation of the County from the other units and levels of government that attempt to preempt, amend, alter, or overturn this Ordinance.

Section 9. Effect.

This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon its enactment.

Section 10. Severability Clause.

To the extent any provision of this Ordinance is deemed invalid by a court of constitutional jurisdiction, such provision will be removed from the Ordinance, and the balance of the Ordinance shall remain valid.

Section 11. Repealer.

All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances adopted by Josephine County are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.

Please contact Ron Lee with your comments and suggestions to improve this draft ordinance -

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