In recent weeks the Delta County Sheriff's Office has received numerous phone calls from people asking how many marijuana plants can be grown legally. The answer is 12 plants in or on a residential property in the unincorporated portions of Delta County. It is not legal to grow marijuana in Delta County on a non-residential property.
Marijuana laws have changed effective Jan. 1 and will be strictly enforced. As of that date, Colorado state law states that a maximum of 12 marijuana plants can be cultivated, grown, or produced on or in a residential property, regardless whether it is for medical or recreational purposes. This includes all medical variances signed by a medical doctor, unless a county, municipality, or city and county law expressly permits the cultivation of more than 12 plants.
The county commissioners have adopted an ordinance which mirrors the state law by limiting the cultivation, growth or production of marijuana plants to a residential property within unincorporated Delta County and limit to 12 plants per residential property regardless of the number of persons residing on the property.
Following are some typical questions the sheriff's office has received.
Q: I have a medical marijuana card and a doctor signed a variance of 99 plants. Am I allowed to grow 99 plants on my property located in the county?
A: No, just 12 plants per residential property
Q: I have 30 acres of farm land. There is no house on the property. Can I grow marijuana on my property?
A: No, marijuana can only be legally grown on property that is listed as residential property through the Delta County assessor's office.
Q: What about hemp?
A: A person who has registered their hemp growing operation through the Department of Agriculture and follows the DOA regulations can grow as much hemp as they like. If the plants contain more THC than allowed through the DOA regulations then the hemp will be considered marijuana and the grow will be considered a marijuana cultivation operation subject to violations of state law.
Q: Do I have to cover my 12 marijuana plants?
A: Yes, any marijuana grown outside must be in an enclosed structure on all sides including the roof. It can be permanent or temporary. The entry and exit points must be lockable. Marijuana grown indoors where a person under the age of 21 resides or visits must be behind locked doors and not in a location where the person under 21 could have access.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.