Decision Could Allow Pot Farming on Wright’s Mesa
TELLURIDE — The San Miguel County Commissioners, by a vote of 2-1, approved a Land Use Code Amendment this week that could allow indoor marijuana cultivation and infused products manufacturing in certain districts in the county, including Wright’s Mesa.
Currently, commercial cultivators (including those cultivating to sell the drug for medicinal purposes in dispensaries), are limited to growing in the Ilium Industrial Park outside Telluride. Cultivators and marijuana dispensary proprietors complain that this restricts them from expanding their businesses and meeting the demand they see for the formerly illegal drug.
Commissioners Joan May and Elaine Fischer supported the amendment, while Commissioner Art Goodtimes dissented in the vote.
But in a packed meeting room in Telluride, roughly a dozen Norwood residents (the clear minority in the room), identified themselves as Wright’s Mesa residents opposed to the amendment. Some expressed concerns about their safety and security, while some expressed their disapproval for the commissioners considering the matter at all.
Citing a violent robbery in Norwood last year, where marijuana crops were stolen, Wright’s Mesa resident Linda Souci said that allowing cultivation there could encourage organized crime activity.
“I’d rather see a regulated marijuana cultivation industry than an unregulated one,” said County Commissioner Joan May, echoing a point made by county planner Mike Rozycki.
“I’ve heard from plenty of people who were supportive of this that were from Wright’s Mesa, but weren’t comfortable enough saying so in a public meeting,” May added.
The regulations to cultivate marijuana for commercial and medicinal purposes in San Miguel County, added May, could be much looser, but because of the public input, county staff have ratcheted up its regulatory efforts to accommodate those concerns.
Stay with watchnewspapers.com for complete coverage of Wednesday's decision.