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Longmont City Council talks regulating home marijuana grows

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Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 20:20:19-04

LONGMONT, Colo. -- The City of Longmont on Tuesday reached a consensus to regulate marijuana home grows, agreeing with a change in the language of a proposed draft submitted by city staff. 

While marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can't be viewed openly under Colorado law, cities can pass stricter laws related to home grows if they choose, according to our partners at the Longmont Times-Call.

Under the law, Coloradans can't grow more than six plants per resident for personal use. Those growing the plans must also be 21-years-old. 

On Tuesday, a draft ordinance submitted by Longmont city staff suggested pot home grows are free to operate, except for the following circumstances: 

• located anywhere other than a primary residence

• with more than six plants per residence

• outdoors

• not in a secure location or accessible to people under 21 years old

• using compressed flammable gas (butane)

• smells strongly enough that it is "detectable by a person with an ordinary sense of smell" from any adjoining property or public right-of-way

• does not follow the rest of Longmont's city codes

Councilwoman Polly Christensen was the only one advocating for plants to be grown outside, but after some back and forth between other council members and a member of the police department, the council reached a unanimous decision on this provision. 

There was also concerns from Christensen and the Mayor Dennis Coombs regarding a draft of a provision that would allow city inspectors to go inside any home where there is a grow to make sure it is operating "during reasonable hours" and complies with city code.

"If there was a 24-hour or 48-hour notice I feel people wouldn't mind as much," Christensen said. "I think it's just treating people with medical conditions or growing for their own use assuming they're criminals. It would be more respectful to give them notice.

The council also reached a consensus when it comes to punishing offenders, saying they were in favor of higher penalty fees. 

The ordinance will be brought back for the first reading on Sept. 27. 

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