In Pueblo County, Colorado the new year marks the beginning of new restrictions on the number of cannabis plants caregivers are allowed to grow.
“Under the new rules, non-licensed growers, including home growers and medical marijuana caregivers, will be limited to 18 marijuana plants in single-family homes, 12 plants in apartments and duplexes and 36 plants on agricultural or industrial properties,” local news station KRDO reported.
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According to Pueblo lawmakers, the new rules are designed to make it harder for illegal growers to operate in their county.
“We have folks who show up to our commissioner meetings and complain about grows that are not licensed grows that we’ve approved,” Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace told reporters.
“I think there’s proper places for large-scale cultivations, and there are improper places.”
“People should not have large-scale cultivations in their basements and in their garages and residential communities.”
Caregivers who focus on providing cannabis-based treatment to patients are concerned that the new rules will make it difficult—if not impossible—to continue treating patients effectively.
“It’s a big deal,” said Santana Odell, a caregiver who moved to Pueblo last year to work in the medical marijuana field.
“I mean, it’s hurtful, because you grow close to these people. They’re like your family because you’re giving them the medicine that they can’t get anywhere else.”
Last year, Odell was growing 99 cannabis plants, which she said was necessary to adequately treat all five of her patients.
As a result of the new restrictions, Odell said she’s had to drop two of her patients.
“We’re going to have to get more caregivers in the industry now,” Odell said, speaking about ways the medicinal marijuana community may respond to the changing rules.
KRDO reported that there are currently more than 3,000 caregivers in Colorado. Until now, their growing activity has been largely unregulated.
At this point, it’s unclear whether or not Pueblo County’s decision to crack down on how much cannabis caregivers can grow will become a trend in other parts of the state.
(Photo Credit: pressherald.com)