Marijuana: Pueblo County approves grow facility despite water rights complaints

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Sal Pace.
Despite a majority of the state voting to make marijuana legal for medicinal and recreational use, there are still Coloradans who do not want to see the plant manufactured or used in their vicinity. As a result, a multitude of cities have placed bans on medicinal and recreational businesses, but last week Pueblo County residents came up with a new reason for why they did not want a grow operation in their area: water rights.

Denver's Metro Cannabis Inc. is planning on starting a grow facility on a 700-acre plot it purchased -- along with water rights -- 25 miles east of Pueblo.

And last week the Pueblo Board of County Commissioners approved its application to do so by a unanimous vote -- but angry residents protested.

"These folks would not be against cultivating any other product," County Commissioner Sal Pace says. "They have a personal objection to marijuana."

The area is highly rural and depends on agriculture for sustenance, so water rights are a huge concern for many residents. And some of those residents do not think that water rights should not be used for marijuana. The commissioners did not have this view when voting on the application, though.

According to Pace, the commissioners do not regulate what the water in the county is used for, but only ensure that it is obtained and used in a legal manner. Marijuana agriculture is completely legal at the state level, and is also allowed in Pueblo County -- this is just the first cannabis facility in this particular part of it.

"There were some residents who are neighboring the location of the grow operation who are generally opposed to marijuana," Pace says. "From our perspective, the debate about marijuana is a decided debate. The state and county have spoken twice."

Pace says the nearest neighbor of the grow facility is a quarter of a mile away; that neighbor supports the operation. However, another neighbors located about a mile away is opposed to the project.

Metro Cannabis has not returned Westword's calls. According to Pace, the company plans on spending $6 million to develop the land, and hopes to open the grow facility sometime this fall. (See our 2010 review of the dispensary.)

"There will be construction jobs, there will be jobs cultivating at the facility and as their property values increase, that will be a benefit to our property taxes in the county," Pace says.

Pace says the tax revenue and the fact that the majority of the county voted for Amendment 64 both factored into accepting Metro Cannabis's application.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana Enforcement Division head Laura Harris's retirement timing "poor to awful"?."

Location Info

Map

Metro Cannabis

8151 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General


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9 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "the company plans on spending $6 million to develop the land"

Fools and their $$ ...

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  No kidding...spending millions of dollars to grow tens of thousands of plants that are federally illegal.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GuestWho ... rendering the Property -- and the idiot investors' equity -- instantly forfeit and seizable by the Feds, and subjecting the conspirators to a MINIMUM MANDATORY 10 (ten) year prison sentence.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@germwarfare ... how many "legal" dispensaries ignored Federal Letters to close due to proximity to schools?

All it takes to shut down ANY "legal" dispensary/grow is a single page letter, an envelope and a 46 cent postage stamp.

The Feds don't need to raid anyone when the greedy big $$ dispensary cowards turn tail and run at the mere threat of prosecution.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CloudGang ... the Feds have a 95% conviction rate, with nearly all of those pleading guilty to avoid the potential of the decades long MINIMUM MANDATORY sentences, plus the 20 years for Money Laundering -- each count -- ... few fools would roll the dice with a jury ... a jury that is denied any evidence/defense of "state legality" and must rule on Federal law only.

germwarfare
germwarfare

@DonkeyHotay @GuestWho  if the feds were actually looking at raiding legal places. Stop being so paranoid donk. switch to indica, or get the underage little boys out of your house, whatever works for you to stop the paranoia.

CloudGang
CloudGang

@DonkeyHotay @GuestWho Can you share were federal juries are chose from? For instance, if the trial was held in Denver in the federal courtrooms for the district of Colorado. Would the pool of jurors come from Colorado, where 60 % or so voted to "regulate" Marijuana?

Or if nabbed in pueblo, federally, could they just file the indictment or charge in Albuquerque?

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