Letter: Too much misinformation about pot greenhouses

Too much misinformation about pot greenhouses

As the owner of Green Essentials in Glenwood Springs and soon-to-open Aspen Green Dragon dispensaries, there are some facts that need to be brought to the public’s attention.

People who are misinformed are providing information as fact, causing an unnecessary public outcry over the greenhouses we propose to erect in Woody Creek for a medical marijuana grow. Most of what is being spread is beyond misinformation and borders on lies, exaggerations and embellishment.

This is a clean use of the land that fits the character of the area. The greenhouse uses natural light and organic nutrients. There are no grow lights and it is a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional grows in the area. There will be no high-intensity lights glowing brightly in the night. The proposal is being modified, recessing the greenhouses into the ground, lowering the height from 16 feet to 12 feet.

The traffic impact on the area will be minimal. Six to seven employees will be onsite, all badged by the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, which requires they have no felonies and are current on tax and loan obligations. They also are fingerprinted and checked by the FBI. Access to the area will be restricted to employees and escorted guests.

Considerable comment has been made concerning sound and odor. Garfield County recently noted that there were virtually no odors directly outside our current indoor grow facility. The odor from the greenhouses should be undetectable. The fans, which run intermittently, will be completely below the noise threshold from Highway 82.

There is no threat to wildlife from our growing techniques or the plant itself. Organic nutrients are used and are safe for animal and human consumption.

Woody Creek zoning where the greenhouses are to be erected is AR10. The product being grown is agricultural and a fit for this area. Other agricultural businesses in this area include a potato farm of more than 5 acres attached to vodka distillery, and a large medical marijuana grow. The property was purchased because of the zoning, which allows for agricultural growing.

The definition of agriculture:

a. Agriculture is farming, growing crops, cultivation and harvesting.

b. Agricultural land use is the most natural original land use.

c. Agriculture zoning protects the land for growing.

d. In our area the natural growing season is severely restricted, requiring the most hi-tech methods.

e. Natural light is the basic staple of agricultural growing, and most hi-tech state of the art growing is using greenhouse enclosures.

f. The current operations of Green Essentials has abided by all local and Marijuana Enforcement Division laws and requirements. We have had no citations and allow no illegal activities on our premises.

The land-use change before the Board of County Commissioners should be considered as just that. It is a request for an exemption for greenhouses, not as a judgment on the growing of marijuana. The county has overwhelmingly voted to allow the sale and growing of marijuana, which is allowed in an agricultural zoned area. We are a family-owned business and as such, we are trying to do everything we can to mitigate the concerns of our neighbors.

Ronald Radtke

Owner, Green Essentials and Aspen Green Dragon