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Ordinance limiting marijuana plants takes effect Feb. 10

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A county ordinance limiting marijuana plants to 12 on residential property will take effect on Feb. 10.

To provide clarification concerning the number of marijuana plants a grower is authorized to cultivate, grow or produce, the Colorado General Assembly enacted HB 17-1220, which took effect Jan. 1.

By adopting Ordinance 2018-01, the commissioners implement Colorado HB 17-1220 limitations of 12 marijuana plants that can be cultivated, grown or produced on or in a residential property, regardless of whether the plants are for medical or recreational use. The county ordinance expressly forbids and prohibits cultivation, growth or production of any marijuana plants on or in all property other than residential property.

The ordinance declares it unlawful for a patient, or primary caregiver, to possess or cultivate on a residential property more than 12 marijuana plants, regardless of the number of persons residing -- either temporarily or permanently -- at the property.

The first reading of the ordinance occurred on Jan. 2, and the ordinance was published in full in the Delta County Independent on Jan. 10. The ordinance applies throughout the unincorporated area of Delta County.

Any officer of the Delta County Sheriff's Office is authorized to enforce the provisions of the ordinance.

Sheriff Fred McKee said, "If compliance becomes an issue, a deputy will be sent to that address, who will talk to the growers and make them aware of the statutes. The deputy will issue a warning.

"After the warning, a deputy will go back in 10 days to see if the property is in compliance. If it is not in compliance, we will start a criminal investigation, which could lead to the matter going to the district attorney.

"If a significant number of plants are being cultivated, the deputy may issue a summons, make an arrest or get a warrant for an arrest."

Sheriff McKee reminds growers that the 12 marijuana plants must be enclosed in a permanent or semi-permanent area, covered on all sides, with the ability to lock all entry ways.

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