by Lisa Cyriacks

A public hearing scheduled November 5, 2019 at 3pm at the Saguache County Courthouse will allow residents to make comments on proposed land use regulations regarding variances granting those with medical marijuana cards to grow more than the 24 plants allowed by the State of Colorado.

In response to concerns raised by Land Use Administrator Wendi Maez in June regarding the number of variances current and pending for a single landowner in Lazy KV Estates, the Commissioners passed a resolution imposing a moratorium on processing and approval of any application for a variance to the plant count permitted for medical marijuana on parcels of land in unincorporated Saguache County.

The moratorium is for six months or pending the adoption of appropriate regulations to address the impacts on Saguache residents.

Since 2017 State law has restricted the number of marijuana plants that can be grown on any one residential parcel to 12 for personal use and a 24-plant-count limit on growing medical marijuana, provided the applicant has a legitimate MMJ license from a physician to grow.

Maez reported her concerns to Commissioners in June of this year that many MMJ patients that apply for variances for an exception to the State-imposed 24-plant-count limit do so to take advantage of the system.

The final proposed revision under consideration reads: Variances may be applied for with the Board of County Commissioners reviewing for final approval. If the request is for over the 12-plant count, the total number of plants requested is not to exceed 24 per parcel.”

Those making the request for extended plant counts must also present proof of a viable water source and sewage disposal system. All marijuana variance requests must also follow all existing marijuana regulations.