Fort Collins proposes changes to marijuana policies

Zane Watson

The City of Fort Collins is considering additional regulations for the rapidly changing marijuana industry, and asked for citizen input at a meeting Monday.

According to Donald Vagge, Fort Collins Police Services investigative services deputy chief, law enforcement has been tasked at a local level to ensure the safety of the community from extractions and illegal distribution of marijuana.

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“Residential (extraction) practices have zero regulations,” said Poudre Fire Authority Fire Captain Shawn McGaffin. “This will still allow extraction (because) the CO2 part doesn’t fit under the umbrella of flammable gases and solvents.”

The meeting Monday also addressed growing marijuana in non-residential grow structures, marijuana extraction processes and the current ban on wholesale between licensed marijuana businesses.

The city is proposing regulations on non-licensed extractions of marijuana concentrates like butane hash oil. The new regulations would ban the use of flammable gases, solvents, liquids and alcohol.

Regulations on non-residential growing operations would include odor control, legal plant count and partitions between grows.

Proposed changes on wholesale distribution would allow marijuana to flow freely between licensed business in the city or statewide.

“Staff recommend (wholesale) within city limits because police can’t track it,” said Ginny Sawyer, project and policy manager for the city. “We would be reliant on other law enforcement and their availability to confirm what happened.”

The proposal for all new regulations will be seen by City Council Feb. 17. Decisions on proposed ordinances will be made after discussion in City Hall.

Collegian Green Beat Reporter Zane Watson can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @zanerwatson.