FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hundreds of Pounds of Illegally Grown Marijuana Seized
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
August 11, 2017 -- (San Miguel County, CO) – San Miguel County Sheriff’s Deputies seized more than 600 lbs. of illegally grown marijuana in the Norwood area Thursday afternoon.
The fifty-eight plants were in an unenclosed, unlocked grow field which is against state regulations. Deputies had warned the growers four times in 2016 that they were not in compliance with state regulations which require the plants to be in a secured, locked and enclosed space. The same individuals were found to be in possession of a closed-loop butane hash oil lab (a professional marijuana lab for making extractions) also in 2016.
Actions Thursday were set into motion when a “dog-at-large” call was received by Sheriff’s dispatchers August 5th in the area of the grow operation. When deputies arrived, it was obvious that nothing had been done to comply with state regulations to enclose and lock the marijuana plants.
Sheriff’s investigators obtained and served a search warrant to seize and destruct the plants. Several deputies cut and hauled the plants ranging from five to six and one half feet tall, averaging about ten lbs. each. They were destroyed today.
Deputies spoke with a licensed marijuana retailer who said in one year they harvested 842 plants, two and one-half to three feet tall that served 14,715 customers.
Sheriff Masters said, “We have local businesses working hard and frankly spending a lot of money to comply with state regulations. And then there are these other individuals who are not in compliance, who can’t possibly consume this much marijuana on their own, and we believe they are selling in the grey/illegal market. They are not paying taxes, and at the end of the day they are stealing from licensed businesses.”
The Sheriff says there seems to be a public disconnect with the understanding of what is legal and what is illegal. While marijuana can be legally grown, smoked and consumed, there are state regulations in place for growers. When growers are not in compliance, they are at risk of having their plants seized and destroyed.
Sheriff Masters said, “Clearly this was not the voters intent when they passed the medical and recreational marijuana laws to allow criminals to grow more marijuana in one season then they could possibly consume in a lifetime.”
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.