Colorado County Proposes Policies to Provide Water for Growing Marijuana

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October 23, 2016
Denver, CO

The Board of Water Works of Pueblo County, Colorado is meeting later today to discuss two resolutions that would supply treated water to the county to grow marijuana within the city limits, the Pueblo Chieftain reports. The resolutions are an attempt to work within current law that forbids the use of public water, such as that from the county’s Lake Pueblo, from being used to grow marijuana. They would also allow for the sale of water from the water board’s direct flow rights in Pueblo Dam while not selling water with any federal links to growers. Though Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2003 and adult use was made legal in 2012, growing marijuana plants is still a federal crime.

The resolutions would allow the water board to supply marijuana growers while still adhering to federal policy. It would also clarify some of the water rights that are not subject to federal policy. However, the water board retains the right to terminate the use of water for marijuana growing if federal policy changes. The second resolution would make about 260 million gallons of raw water available to Pueblo County growers annually by lease. This, too, contains provisions to cancel contracts as they are subject to federal policy changes. Pueblo County hopes to raise about half a million dollars in additional revenue from these new policies.

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