CO: Longmont May Close Pot Loophole Allowing ‘Unregulated Home Grows’


The Longmont City Council’s members on Tuesday night will discuss whether they want to close a loophole in city code related to home marijuana grows.

Longmont law “generally prohibits marijuana cultivation, distribution, production, manufacturing, testing, retail sales, etc.,” according to a city staff memo written by, among others, Assistant City Attorney Teresa Tate.

But there is a subsection of the law that exempts patients with a medical marijuana card or primary caregivers.

This “has essentially allowed unregulated home grows in Longmont,” staff wrote.

Coloradans are allowed to grow up to six plants per resident over 21 in their homes for personal use, but municipalities can pass stricter laws. The plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly.

City staff originally recommended the council leave Longmont home grows unregulated, but Assistant City Manager Shawn Lewis said in June that high-level staff reversed course after attending a Denver Regional Council of Governments presentation titled “Into the Weeds.”

Tuesday night, a group of city staff comprising Tate, Senior Planner Erin Fosdick, code enforcement Supervisor Shannon Stadler, Police Officer Sara Aerne and Fire Capt. Michele Goldman will present a draft ordinance to council placing stricter rules on home growers.

Under the new ordinance, a home grow in Longmont would be illegal if it:

• were located anywhere other than a primary residence

• were more than six plants

• were outdoors

• were not in a secure location that is inaccessible to people under 21 years old

• used compressed flammable gas (butane)

• smelled strongly enough that it was “detectable by a person with an ordinary sense of smell” from any adjoining property or public right-of-way

• did not follow the rest of Longmont’s city codes

The draft ordinance would also allow inspectors to enter any home where a grow is operating “during reasonable hours” to make sure the grow complies with city code.

Violations of the new ordinance would be considered administrative civil penalties, rather than criminal penalties. While regulating home grows doesn’t provide any tax revenue for the city, there could be an unknown amount money for the city from the penalty fines, staff wrote in the memo.

City staff are seeking the council’s feedback on the draft ordinance. If the City Council gives the go-ahead, staff members plan to bring back the new law for first reading on Sept. 27.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Longmont May Close Pot Loophole Allowing ‘Unregulated Home Grows’
Author: Katen Antonacci
Contact: 303-776-2244
Photo Credit: Andy Nelson
Website: Times Call