How To Keep Your Medical Marijuana Garden Legal In Colorado


By Ann Toney

Marijuana Plant watering water

It is the New Year and there have been some unsettling changes. We have towns and counties which have recently banned centers, Optional Premises Cultivation Operations (OPCO) and Marijuana Infused Product Manufacturers (MIP). Unfortunately, in those areas it is back to patients and caregivers growing their own again.

Law enforcement seems to have a pattern to pouncing on patient and caregiver grows: An officer goes to the home–usually without a search warrant. They knock on the door and want to come in because a “neighbor” has reported the smell of marijuana coming from the house. Who knows if this is true or not as you will never be privy to the name of the informant–if in fact there is a “neighbor” complaining. You let the law enforcement inside believing that you are “legal” and have nothing to hide. You even show them where your grow is with all of your “paperwork.” Here’s the rub: First, you have “too many plants” or “too much medicine.” Then, your paperwork is not complete and accurate. So, they take clippings and pictures and leave. They don’t take the plants because they do not want to be responsible for keeping them alive or be liable for any losses in the event the plants are legal. Then, all too often law enforcement gets an arrest warrant and comes back, at some point, and arrests you.

So, some tips on remaining legal with your patient/caregiver grow:

Have six (6) plants per registry card.
Have copies of all current registry cards–and recommendations–of those patients you are growing for.
If you have an “elevated plant count,” make sure the physician’s recommendation for each patient states the number of plants recommended.
Make sure all patients registry cards are up to date and have been renewed, naming you as the caregiver.
Be careful keeping dried medicine (as well as excess leaves and stalks) on the premises as it is hard to justify this increased weight.

It is unfortunate that communities have decided to deny its citizens the right to procure legal and effective medicine in a safe and regulated environment.

Ann Toney, P.C. is a Denver-based law firm that focuses on medical marijuana business law and marijuana defense; and defending people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs (DUI/DUID). Ann Toney can be contacted via phone or web at (303) 399-5556 and

Article from Culture Magazine and republished with special permission