Cracking Down On Home Grow In Colorado
In a bid to crack down on drug trafficking, the Colorado House on Monday voted to put new limits on marijuana home grow in Colorado that would dramatically reduce the number of plants people can legally grow in residential areas. The bill would impose a blanket 16-plant per home limit — whether the pot’s grown for medical or recreational purposes. That represents a significant reduction from the current cap, which goes as high as 99 plants for medical marijuana patients and caregivers — a limit that law enforcement officials say has been exploited by large-scale, international crime organizations. Licensed caregivers could still grow more than 16 plants under the bill, but they would have to grow the excess number in areas zoned for large-scale, commercial grows. It also would allow local governments to impose further restrictions by ordinance, something many already do. Denver, for instance, has a 12-plant limit. Also on Monday, the House gave preliminary approval to a companion measure, House Bill 1221, which would create a $6 million-a-year grant program to help local law enforcement crack down on illegal grows.
A Colorado grow-supply business is paying a federal fine because of its pesticide packaging. Grow Depot, a hydroponics and indoor gardening store in Northglenn, was cited and fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly repacking and selling unlabeled pesticides, the agency announced Monday. It’s the first time the EPA has penalized a Colorado grow shop for unlabeled pesticides, officials say. Grow Depot agreed to pay a $27,500 penalty and stop the sale of unregistered pesticides as part of a settlement agreement. In May 2016, a Colorado Department of Agriculture official conducting a pesticide inspection found that Grow Depot employees had poured registered, brand-name pesticides from their labeled bottles into unmarked, smaller 0.5-ounce and 1-ounce dropper bottles, according to the settlement.
The Arkansas Senate has again rejected an effort to ban smoking medical marijuana after opponents said the move undermines a voter-approved initiative that legalized the drug for people with certain ailments. The Senate voted 15-11 Monday against the proposal to change the constitutional amendment voters approved in November legalizing medical marijuana to ban its smoking. The measure needs at least 24 votes to advance to the state House. The vote marks the second time the smoking ban failed before the Senate. The measure is among several restrictions lawmakers are considering to the drug. The state is set to begin accepting applications for dispensaries in July under the amendment. A motion to allow the bill to come back up again later failed on an 11-0 vote.
Marijuana advocates spent millions of dollars to put a legal marijuana law in place in Massachusetts last year, and indicated Monday they are willing to spend more to protect the law approved by almost 1.8 million voters. Beacon Hill leaders have made clear they intend to change the law — parts of which took effect in December, the rest delayed six months by the House, Senate and governor — and the committee in charge of making alterations to it is scheduled to hold its first hearing Monday. Jim Borghesani, the communications director for the successful Yes on 4 campaign who now works with the Marijuana Policy Project, said the advocacy group is prepared to spend money in Massachusetts to make the case that legislative changes violate the voter-approved law. Changes being considered by the legislature include increasing the marijuana tax rate, reducing the adult home grow allowance, capping the number of marijuana licenses, and setting an upper THC potency limit.
Marc and Jodie Emery have been ordered to cease operating their Cannabis Culture dispensary business after they were arrested Wednesday at Pearson Airport while on their way catch a flight to Barcelona, Jodie said Saturday in a phone call from Toronto. The following day, police in Toronto; Hamilton, Ontario; and Vancouver executed 11 search warrants. They were released on bail Friday afternoon with conditions that require Marc and Jodie to stay and live in Ontario, though Jodie may visit their home in Vancouver city with court permission, she said. They have been banned from entering any Cannabis Culture location or office, including the B.C. Marijuana Party and Cannabis Culture magazine headquarters in Vancouver, and Marc Emery can’t speak with staff or deal with business operations in any way, she said.