AG objects to keeping grow operations secret
DENVER – Colorado’s attorney general is objecting to plans to keep the locations of medical marijuana grows secret.
The state Senate this week voted to keep that information off-limits to the public to protect grow operations from being burglarized. Law enforcement agencies would still have access to it.
Attorney General John Suthers said Friday that the move contradicts lawmakers’ efforts to bring sunshine to the emerging industry.
“The Legislature is making a public statement that they think dispensaries and grow facilities are in the public interest,” he said. “Once they do that, why shouldn’t every aspect of that be in the public light?”
The secrecy provision was included in proposed regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, growers and product makers. Lawmakers are under pressure from cities and counties to pass rules to deal with the proliferation of marijuana businesses.
Suthers opposes the legislation overall because he doesn’t think the state should legitimize dispensaries, which weren’t specifically mentioned in the medical marijuana law passed by voters a decade ago.
The regulations face a final vote in the House before they can be sent to the governor. That vote is expected Tuesday, a day before lawmakers must adjourn for the year.
The House must vote on whether to accept changes made to the bill in the Senate, including the secrecy provision. House bill sponsor Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, said he will urge lawmakers there to agree with the changes.
“We don’t want to advertise a place that could be burglarized,” he said.
Suthers said that banks and pharmacies also face the chance of theft but their locations are still known. He said the public has a right to know the location of grow operations.
“People may want to know, if they’re moving into a neighborhood, what’s in that neighborhood,” he said.