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Pueblo County approves marijuana greenhouse

PUEBLO, Colo. – Pueblo County commissioners have given final approval for a Denver medical marijuana dispensary to open a greenhouse in the eastern part of the county, raising the hackles of local residents who said they don't want to create an export crop.

Commissioners who approved the greenhouse Wednesday said the owners will not sell marijuana in Pueblo and will ship it Denver.

"This is not a retail outlet," Commissioner Liane "Buffie" McFadyen said. "This is a grow operation, which we are approving under medical marijuana licensing regulations."

The request from Metro Cannabis Inc. already has received approval from previous board members, the Pueblo Chieftain reported Thursday.

Pueblo is one of the few counties in the state that license medical pot greenhouses.

"There were previous grow operations approved," Commissioner Sal Pace said. "This was not a dramatic shift in public policy."

So far, Pueblo County has approved nine local medical marijuana dispensary applications. Of those, several included greenhouses, both on and off-site.

Pace likened the new greenhouse operation to economic development – an outside company coming to Pueblo, employing locally and shipping out its product.

Crime and water and fire concerns were among the issues raised by opponents. "Property value is a huge thing for us," property owner Debbie Johnson said during a previous hearing on the proposal.

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