Grower of Plants With Estimated $16,000 Street Value Has Yet to Emerge
OURAY COUNTY – The Ouray County Sheriff’s Department is still working to identify the owner of 33 marijuana plants confiscated by law enforcement officers from a Log Hill Mesa property last month.
“We know the owner of the property,” said Ouray County Sheriff Dominic “Junior” Mattivi. “We are trying to figure out who actually is the owner of the plants, and haven’t been able to find out anything yet.
“The case is still under investigation at this time, and no charges have been filed.”
The plants were found on Aug. 24 at 1010 Canyon Drive on Log Hill Mesa, on a wooded 4.8 acre property with a large rental home on it. The former tenants, a man and a woman, were in the process of being evicted by the property owner when the sheriff’s department received an anonymous tip about the pot plants.
“We followed up on it and sure enough, there were 33 plants,” Mattivi said. “They were growing outdoors in the back of the property, kind of out of view.”
Colorado state law allows medical marijuana providers to grow up to 36 plants – six each for a total of six patients – but Mattivi said, nobody has come forward with documentation to prove the plants were being grown for a legitimate purpose.
The plants remain in evidence at this time. Mattivi estimates their street value is worth at least $500 per plant, or $16,000 total.
Meanwhile, Mattivi said he has had no law enforcement issues stemming from the presence of a legitimate medical marijuana grow facility in an unincorporated part of Ouray County near Ridgway. The facility, licensed to a company called Grand Mesa Growers, was built before Ouray County adopted a resolution prohibiting the establishment of such operations in May 2011, and thus is grandfatheredin.
While the Colorado Department of Revenue – Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division is the statewide entity tasked with licensing and overseeing Colorado’s numerous MMJ operations, the Ouray County Sheriff’s Department does inspect the local Grand Mesa Growers facility several times a year.
“I can walk in. I can pull his certificate. He’s got security cameras in. He (the grow facility operator) is doing everything by the book,” Mattivi said.
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