Denver proposes marijuana plant limit for nonresidential grows

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Marijuana plants (Photo: Thinkstock)

DENVER — The City and County of Denver made a motion to set a limit to the number of marijuana plants being grown in a non-residential zone on Tuesday.

The proposed change will allow no more than 36 marijuana plants to be grown in a non-residential area, with the exception of licensed marijuana cultivation facilities, according to Dan Rowland, Denver’s representative for marijuana policy.

This change will not affect the 12-plant limit already in place for residential dwelling units.

“After careful consideration, we have concluded that this is a necessary change to protect the health and safety of Denver residents,” said Ashley Kilroy, the city’s executive director of Marijuana Policy.

The health and safety concerns include, unsafe conditions, such as overloaded electrical systems, hazardous structural features and blocked egresses, the improper use of pesticides, improper waste disposal and uncontrolled odor mitigation.

The proposal was developed after safety officials have noted an increase in non-licensed marijuana cultivation operations, reported Rowland, many of which are growing upwards of 2,000 plants.

Stating that other zoning codes have not been effective enough in making sure grow facilities are compliant with safety regulations Kilroy said, “Additionally, these non-licensed facilities undermine the stability and safety of the legal, regulated marijuana market that Colorado and Denver have worked hard to establish.”

Violations of the proposed code would treated be like all other criminal violations of the Denver Revised Municipal Code, with penalties including up to one year in jail and up to a $999 fine, Rowland said.

The proposal will be presented for initial discussion on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. with public comment allowed at the meeting.

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