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Commissioners Approve 3 of 4 Medical Marijuana Licenses

The Organice Seed LLC co-owner Ryan Griego answers questions from the Board of Commissioners Monday regarding his application for a county medical marijuana cultivation license for an outdoor growing operation at 1785 Kit Carson Trail in the Copper Gulch area. Griego's application was the only one of four denied by the Board.  (photo courtesy of CC Daily Record)

In the first of several anticipated reviews of medical marijuana operations in Fremont County the Board of Commissioners approved county licensing of three existing state-licensed facilities but denied a fourth application which had drawn considerable opposition from neighbors in western Fremont County.   The Commissioners met in special session Monday, January 5th, to review the four applications.

Approval was granted for Dana Soux’s operation of Fremont Cannabis, an existing medical marijuana center-pharmacy in Lincoln Park at 1505 Elm Street.   Soux said the center is a small family run business with the cultivation facility located in Buena Vista.

Approval was also granted for an existing state licensed cultivation facility at 934 ‘C’ Street in Penrose.   Natalie Romolt said she and her partner operate two other licensed facilities in Colorado Springs and Pueblo doing business as Today’s Health Care.   Romolt said they have operated in Penrose the past 18 months and that three greenhouses will be operating on site.   After being told that employees could not legally perform trimming work inside large metal storage containers, Romolt said the trimming will be confined within one of the greenhouses.

Approval was also granted for Ryan Foster of High Mountain Medz who has set up a greenhouse medical marijuana cultivation facility in a remote mountain area along County Road 103 southwest of Florence.   Foster said there is now one greenhouse but will eventually have three greenhouses in operation.  Foster said he will be seeking a building permit to construct a dwelling on site where he plans to live and personally oversee the operation.   Foster said the site is isolated and surrounded by a 3,000 acre cattle ranch.

The fourth application by Ryan Griego of The Organic Seed LLC for a cultivation license for an outdoor medical marijuana grow operation was denied by the Board of Commissioners following an hour long session of questions for the applicant.   The Commissioners sought detailed explanation from Griego regarding when he took ownership of the property, why a building permit was never obtained for a building constructed on site, alleged illegal use of well water for the marijuana plants, fencing and other security issues, and other complaints from neighbors.

District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden told Griego the incident that particularly concerned him was in October when a next door neighbor said a security dog came onto his property and attacked his dog.   The neighbor said he was then cursed at to get off of Griego’s property when he confronted security people about the dog attack.   Griego said the problems were not caused by him but by the security company.    Commissioner Norden told Griego that because he is the licensee, he is the one ultimately responsible for what takes place.

In the final analysis none of the Commissioners expressed an interest in tabling the matter to allow Griego time to address the Commissioners concerns for the 2015 growing season.   A motion to deny a county license for The Organic Seed was approved on a unanimous vote.