By Ron Bain
DELTA – The Delta County commissioners, as they had predicted they would do in a legal notice, on Feb. 4 enacted an ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana stores, large-scale cultivation, and manufacturing, processing or testing facilities.
Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana when Colorado voters approved the ballot initiative in November 2012, allows counties and cities to opt out of the commercial side of the burgeoning business, but establishes a clear right for adult Coloradans everywhere in the state to be able to grow six plants at home. It lists things that are protected under the law, such as potting soil, gardening scissors and flower pots, to facilitate that right.
A group of Delta County businessmen specializing in potting soil and other growing accessories are concerned about a list of items like potting soil, gardening scissors and flower pots that was included in the prohibition ordinance.
Delta County attorney Christine Knight says the items listed are just “definitions… straight out of Amendment 64.”
But Paonia businessman Jere Lowe is concerned that a literal-minded law enforcement officer will start busting people for possession of potting soil.
“Amendment 64 indiscriminately allows all of those items to be possessed by people to grow marijuana,” Lowe said. “Every citizen can grow in their yards right now.”
Calling marijuana “the world’s most valuable agricultural product,” Lowe said he was going to form a political action committee to work on reversing the large-scale cultivation ban and removing the potting soil list from the ordinance.
If a marijuana farm is going to be established anywhere in Colorado under Amendment 64, that place should be Delta County, home of the world-famous Paonia Purple Paralyzer, Lowe said.
“We as farmers here want to feed that market with our famous North Fork product,” he said.
Marijuana farming could bring hundreds of jobs to Delta County, Lowe added.
He said his PAC would work to overcome “decades and decades of misleading propaganda.”