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Colorado Crackdown on Homegrown Cannabis Advances

March 23, 2017
Marijuana plant
DENVER (AP) — A Colorado plan to crack down on homegrown cannabis is rapidly heading to the governor’s desk after lawmakers changed the bill to give medical marijuana patients more leeway.

'We're not respecting patients' rights as well as pushing the industry forward.'
Jason Warf , Southern Colorado Cannabis Council

A Senate committee vote 5-0 to set a statewide limit of 12 plants per residential property. That’s down from 99 plants under current law.

The bill was changed to give medical marijuana patients and their caregivers up to 24 plants, if they register with the state and with local authorities. Currently, registration is required only if patients have more than 99 plants.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and lawmakers from both parties have called the cannabis crackdown a top priority as the state awaits word of how the new federal administration plans to treat state-legal marijuana states.

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Of the 28 states that allow medical cannabis, none but Colorado allows patients to have more than 16 plants growing in their homes.

“It is time that we fix this before someone comes in and fixes it for us,” said Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson, speaking on behalf of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

Few testified against the bill, though it would effectively force some patients to shop from commercial cannabis retailers. One of the few who did complained that the measure is driven by the profit implications of forcing people to buy cannabis in stores instead of growing it outside the regulated market.

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“We’re not respecting patients’ rights as well as pushing the industry forward,” said Jason Warf of the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council.

Colorado has some 19,000 medical marijuana patients whose doctors have recommended a high number of plants in order to produce cannabis oils and other medical treatments. Some treatments require a pound of marijuana to produce an ounce of cannabis oil.

Lawmakers amended the bill to make it a misdemeanor, not a felony, to be caught with too many plants until the third offense.

The bill now awaits a vote by the full House. It has already passed the House, though Senate changes will require the bill to return there before heading to the governor’s desk.

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  • Jason Back

    There is terrible for legitimate medical patients. The state and local authorities already have the tools they need to bust the “cartels” and whoever else they think is sending cannabis out of state. Just look at all the raids they conducted across the front range last week! The criminals don’t care about plant counts, they will continue to do what they do as long as there is money to be made. The root of this problem is prohibition in 42 US states, not medical homegrowers.

  • rwscid

    The plant is legal to buy, but not to grow (too much).

    The Statists never relent in their goal to control every minute of our lives.

  • Brendan Clark

    I think they could maybe viably drop it to 40 or 50 plants per house, but 12 isnt fair when your in a house like mine with 3 adults and the state says we can each have 6 but really we can only have 4 now? And only half can flower so basically we have to force 2 plants to last for the entire next flower cycle of 2 or 3 months. Gonna have to start growing trees again