I talk to numerous people weekly with the “same” question. “How many plants can I grow in Colorado?” Most who reach out to me either have initially researched it themselves and not reached any comfortable level of certainty in their answer, while others are starting with reaching out to me.
Most believe that the question has a clear answer, and that the answer will take less than 10 minutes. That is not true. If it were possible, I would happily answer the question during the brief call, without charging for that brief answer.
In fact, the answer is surprisingly complex. I’ll break the areas of concern into a number of blogs, this being part one.
First, is the answer found in one place? No it is not. The Colorado Constitution has part of the answer, and theoretically should be controlling-overriding guidance for Colorado. If only that were so. The other sources of law do not always agree with the Constitutional language. The state criminal law contradicts it. County and municipal ordinances contradict it in many locations. Even the methods of counting plants differ from law to law.
Even if the various sources of laws and regulations agreed, one must consider HOA rules, leases, related overlapping ordinances like odor nuisance ordinances, roommates and the makeup of the household, and whether it is recreational or medical grow. The underlaying paperwork if any also impacts the answer.
In general, to be able to give reasonable advice and guidance with at least some level of confidence has required one to three hours consultation. This is generally split over two meetings.
in PART II I’ll address a basic list of things you can have ready to go to improve the quality of the advice, and to reduce the time it takes to provide the advice.
Because of the changes in the count rules and laws over the last several years, a number of incorrect and high risk strategies for growing larger numbers no longer are “safe harbors.” For example, the strategy of being a caregiver for numerous patients with extended (beyond 6 plants) plant counts has been the target of laws intended to close that “loophole.”
To further complicate the question, different LEOs (law enforcement officers) have different beliefs as to what the laws permit and require. These range from generally right to completely wrong. One can be legally pretty safe technically and still end up swept up by the system under the direction of LEOs with totally confused and incorrect understandings. Some Counties are operating under beliefs which are simply wrong.