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Douglas County Commissioners Adopt Marijuana Grow Regulations

Ordinance restricts the number of plants in a single residence, prohibits outdoor grows and more.

Chief Deputy Steve Johnson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office testifies in favor of the Douglas County ordinance regulating the growing, cultivation and processing of marijuana.

Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but it doesn’t mean you can grow as much as you want, wherever you want.

That’s a message the new Douglas County ordinance regulating the growing, cultivation and processing of marijuana clarifies for those living in unincorporated areas of the County.

The new ordinance, adopted by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners on August 9, and enforceable by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, includes a cap on the number of plants an individual may grow to 12 per household, whether being grown by caregivers, patients or for personal use; prohibits outdoor grows; and requires tenants of a rental property to have written permission from the property owner prior to establishing the property as a location where marijuana may be grown, cultivated or processed.

“This ordinance is in response to citizen complaints from throughout unincorporated Douglas County and is focused on our responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our citizens,” said David Weaver, Chair of the Board of Douglas County Commissioners. “We are trying to manage, at the local level, the result of loop-holes in state marijuana laws that are creating a problem for Douglas County and communities all over the state,” Weaver said.

“We have a public safety issue that we believe this ordinance will help us address,” said Chief Deputy Steve Johnson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. “Safety concerns associated with home-grown marijuana include fires resulting from improper modifications to electrical systems, chemicals or butane gas stored without proper ventilation, as well as risks of robbery and home invasion,” Johnson said.

This is not the County Commissioners’ first attempt to reduce the impact of the state’s legal marijuana industry on the County.  Shortly after Amendment 64 was passed by Colorado voters in 2012, yet rejected by Douglas County voters 55 percent to 45 percent, Douglas County Commissioners became the first county in the state to enact the local control measures of the Amendment by banning commercial marijuana operations in the County that prohibited the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing, testing facilities or retail marijuana stores.

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