Call: (720) 675-7094

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Personal Cultivation of Marijuana at a Residence – in Park County, Colorado

What you should know before growing marijuana in your home in Park County.

Remember, even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is illegal under federal law.  Under federal law marijuana is a controlled substance; cultivation, production or possession of marijuana or its derivatives could subject you to criminal prosecution.  

Keep children and strangers out

Growing outdoors is prohibited in Park County.  All of your plants must be kept in a locked and enclosed area.  This is especially important if you have children.  Law enforcement and child services view exposing children to marijuana as child abuse, do not allow children anywhere near your marijuana. 

Park County Ordinance 18-01 Section 2(k) requires your plants to be within a “secure” area, meaning partitioned off to prevent access by children, visitors, casual passersby, vandals, or anyone not licensed and authorized to possess medical marijuana.

Keep your plants out of sight and smell

The first thing that can get a grower into trouble is County Ordinance 18-01 Section 2(c) which requires that the “cultivation, production, or possession of marijuana plants must not be perceptible from the exterior of the structure in which such cultivation occurs.”

Be sure of the following:

1) Your grow is not be visible outside the building;
2) there are no signs indicating marijuana is inside;
3) there are no odors coming from your grow (including non-marijuana specific smells);
4) no light is visible coming out of your grow room; and
5) there are no extra cars or people around.

All of the above are prohibited by Park County Ordinance 18-01, and allow for a neighbor to make a complaint to law enforcement.  Unless you enjoy visits from the guys in uniform with guns and handcuffs, you should take all steps necessary, such as air filters and covering windows, to avoid giving a neighbor any reason to complain.

Limit the area used

You can use only one structure, building, greenhouse or enclosure on any lot/parcel of land.

If in a “multi-family dwelling unit,” such as an apartment, condo, townhouse, duplex, the enclosed and locked space occupied by your plants must not exceed 100 square feet.  Otherwise the space may be as much as 150 square feet.

Limit the number of plants you grow

There are two kinds of non-commercial growers: recreational and medical.

1) Personal Recreational Use

For recreational use: you may have up to 6 plants per adult with a maximum of 12 plants per household.  No more than 6 plants can be flowering at one time. 

2) Medical Use

The law regarding cultivation for Medical use is vague, piecemeal and subject to interpretation by law enforcement.  While this may would normally mean the law can be challenged as unconstitutional, such a challenge would be difficult or even impossible because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.  Therefore marijuana growers must keep up to date on the latest changes in the law and do their best to follow that law.

Medical Cultivation is divided into two classes: personal and by a caregiver.  This analysis does not cover caregivers.

The safest approach is to follow the lesser amount allowed for recreational use.  However, if you need more it gets complicated.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-1.5-106(8.5)(a.5)(I) allows a medical marijuana patient to grow no more than 12 plants.  But if you meet the following conditions you can grow up to 24 plants at your residence:

1. The city, municipality, and county where you live does not limit the number of plants a medical marijuana patient can grow in/on a residential property;

2. The patient registers with the state licensing authority, with the location, and number of plants authorized to cultivate; and

3. Provides notice to the applicable city, municipality and county if required by that jurisdiction.

Park County Ordinance 18-01 Section 2(e) allows for no more than the “maximum number of marijuana plants allowed by state law”; and only requires “primary caregivers” to register with the county.

So if you meet the conditions above, including having registered with the state licensing authority, you should be legal with 24 plants.  However, be aware that several Park County Deputies have communicated directly and indirectly to this author that they disagree with this interpretation and would file charges for having more than 12 plants.

The above is a statement of the law as exists at this date and time (4/2/19).  You should review the law before depending on anything herein.  Additionally, the proceeding does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please contact my office if you have questions or need legal advice.