This Industry Bulletin is being issued to notify licensees of new requirements for outdoor or greenhouse medical and retail marijuana cultivations (collectively referred to as “Outdoor Cultivations”), effective January 1, 2019.
Rules M and R 305, 1 CCR 212‐1 and 1 CCR 212‐2, establish minimum requirements for maintaining adequate security, including requirements for a Security Alarm System on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows of the Licensed Premises, as well as continuous monitoring of the Licensed Premises. Further, Rules M and R 305 require that Outdoor Cultivation licensees provide sufficient security measures to demonstrate that outdoor and greenhouse areas are not readily accessible by unauthorized individuals.
On November 17, 2017, the State Licensing Authority adopted amendments to Rules M and R 305, which establish the following additional minimum fencing requirements for Outdoor Cultivations, effective January 1, 2019:
1. The entire Limited Access Area shall be surrounded by a fence that measures at least eight feet from the ground, constructed of at least six gauge or higher metal chain link fence or a similarly secure material but may not be wood. All support posts shall be steel and securely anchored;
2. All entry gates shall measure at least eight feet from the ground and shall be constructed of six gauge or higher metal chain link fence or a similarly secure material but may not be wood;
3. The fence shall obscure the Limited Access Area so that it is not easily viewed from outside the fence; and
4. The perimeter of the fence shall be surrounded with lights illuminating all sides of the fence for at least 20 feet from the fence. Such lights may be, but are not required to be, motion sensing.
Compliance Date for Additional Minimum Outdoor Cultivation Fencing Requirements
During the period from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019 (“Grace Period”), an Outdoor Cultivation licensee that is currently in compliance with the requirements contained in Permanent Rules M and R 305 is not required to comply with revised Rules M and R 305(A)(5)(a)‐(d). In other words, an Outdoor Cultivation that was licensed and compliant with Rules M and R 305 prior to the effective date may maintain compliance with those requirements during the Grace Period. However, as of January 1, 2019, all Outdoor Cultivation licensees must comply with the additional requirements established in Rules M and R 305.
Waiver Process for One or More Security Requirements
An Outdoor Cultivation licensee may request that the Marijuana Enforcement Division (“Division”) waive one or more of the security requirements described in revised Rules M and R 305(A)(5)(a)‐(d), through the submission of a written security waiver request. The Division may, in its discretion and on a case‐by‐ case basis, approve a security waiver request, if the Division finds that the alternative safeguard proposed by the Outdoor Cultivation licensee meets the goals of the security requirements contained in revised Rules M and R 305(A)(5)(a)‐(d). Any security waiver request must include, at a minimum, the following information:
1. The specific Rules and subsections of a Rule that is requested to be waived;
2. The reason for the waiver;
3. A description of an alternative safeguard the licensee will implement in lieu of the requirement that is subject to the waiver; and
4. An explanation of how and why the alternative safeguard accomplishes the goal of the security Rules, specifically protecting public safety, prevention of diversion, accountability, and prohibited access to minors.
The security waiver form will be made available at the Division’s website at the following link: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/med-rules.
The Division encourages licensees submitting a security waiver request to provide any additional information (e.g. pictures, diagrams, construction plans) that the Division should take under consideration when evaluating whether a proposed alternative safeguard meets the goals of the Rules’ security requirements.
Note that any security waiver issued by the Division is subject to annual review at the time of renewal of the underlying medical or retail marijuana business license. As such, on the renewal date of the medical or retail business license, an Outdoor Cultivation licensee must receive new Division approval in order to maintain operations under a prior‐issued security waiver.
In addition to the requirements of revised Rules M and R 305, an Outdoor Cultivation licensee must comply with all other applicable Rule requirements. For example, any Rules containing requirements for Limited Access Areas apply to cultivation areas and greenhouses, which include, but are not limited to, video surveillance requirements contained in Rules M and R 306.
To view the full text of any Rule referenced in this Industry Bulletin, please see the Division’s website (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/med-rules). Please be aware that the information
contained in this Industry Bulletin is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. Nothing in this Industry Bulletin replaces a licensee’s responsibility to read, understand, and maintain full compliance with all relevant statutes and Rules.