The City of Denver is looking to castrate area medical marijuana cultivation operations in the interest of public safety. In a report issued on Tuesday, city planners announced a strategy to put unlicensed growers out of commission by limiting the number of plants a non-residential outfit could cultivate without being forced to obtain a business license.
The proposed ordinance would limit the amount of cannabis production for a non-residential facility to 36 plants before a license to operate would be required. The city believes the new regulations will prevent a number of problems from escalating, including the illegal supply of marijuana to the black market.
According to the bill, “The marijuana produced by these large-scale, unregulated cultivation operations cannot be tracked, making it virtually impossible to verify that this marijuana is distributed in accordance with all applicable laws.”
Acting on reports of increased criminal activity, in addition to violations of building, electrical and fire codes, the Denver City Council now wants to place “reasonable and necessary” restrictions on large grow operations. The concern is that as many as 60 unlicensed collectives have been caught cultivating massive amounts of weed that could be spilling over into the black market.
We have seen “an exponential increase in the cultivation of marijuana collective operations and other non-licensed settings,” the report states. Some collectives are reportedly growing as many as 2,000 plants.
“We have concluded that this is a necessary change to protect the health and safety of Denver residents,” said Ashley Kilroy, executive director of marijuana policy. “This is a thoughtful modification that protects employees, neighbors, inspectors and first responders alike, while respecting the will of the voters and their support of Amendment 64.”
The Denver City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on this issue later today.