Hemp: How an HOA ruling is forcing Jim Denny to give away all his plants
Jim Denny has 7,500 square feet of hemp plants and a problem: His homeowners association has found that his plants are a violation of the HOA rules and has ordered him to "replace" them by the end of next week. The reason? The HOA board says that Denny failed to get approval for "landscaping modifications" to his lot and that his 75-foot-by-100-foot hemp plot is a home business in violation of the Todd Creek Farms HOA rules.
Jim Denny's hemp garden as it looks today.
To comply with the board's findings, Denny is giving away his hemp plants (and in some instances, selling them for a small fee) to anyone who is registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp.
So far, Denny says the response has been "overwhelming." The day after word got out, he says he received 59 phone calls and 27 e-mails from people who wanted his plants. He's had several people ask to take all of his plants and others offer to pay the fines his HOA would levy against him if he were to ignore the board's findings and keep growing.
But the 56-year-old Denny, who spent thirty years working as a software and systems test engineer before trying his hand at growing hemp, says he's not willing to push it that far. "It takes a lot out of you, having to fight with everybody and being in fear of putting your house in jeopardy," Denny says. He feels that sharing his story will be helpful. "My hope in discussing this is to help others down the road who are in a similar predicament to avoid it or to be a pioneer to say that HOAs can't push you around anymore."
Some of Jim Denny's hemp plants.
Denny's story starts a few years ago, when he read an article about the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado. The article also mentioned hemp and explained how it was different from marijuana. For one, hemp contains little to none of the psychoactive ingredient THC, which is what makes a person feel high. And it has many uses: You can eat it, wear it, wash yourself with it and even build your house out of it.
Continue for more on Jim Denny's hemp plot.