A marijuana grower shows off his original grow kit and its accessories at his home on Dec. 8, 2014. (Aaron Ontiveroz, Denver Post file)

Brighton sets rules for growing marijuana for personal use

Brighton residents who are growing marijuana in their homes need to ensure that their plants are at least two feet lower than the ceiling, according to one of the new indoor cultivation regulations adopted by City Council.

The state has regulations for home grows per Amendment 64, but Brighton officials localized those rules by imposing limits on grow room sizes, as well as additional safety requirements like not allowing the plants or storage material to reach the ceiling and risk fire hazards with grow lights.

“There are unresolved issues in the current state regulation,” said Aja Tibbs, the city’s long range and historic preservation planner. For example, “it’s difficult sometimes to get issues or violations on a local level addressed in the county courts. If we have local regulations … those violations can be addressed on a level that’s much more efficient and quick.”

During her presentations to council last month, Tibbs said the city’s revised code would address health and safety concerns where planners believed that state fell short.

One of those areas was to limit the size of operations based on home size so as not to create homes effectively converted into grow houses.

“It’s our desire, I believe, to have some restrictions to protect our homeowners and their neighbors,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kirby Wallin last week prior to the vote. “We don’t want entire houses filled with it. We don’t want an entire home used for” cultivation.

So, standalone houses in Brighton may now have up to 50 square feet of grow space, and townhomes, apartments, condos or duplexes may have up to 35 square feet of space.

Residents can also add another 50 square feet of cultivation space in a detached structure like a shed or detached garage. So, that would be up to 100 square feet in houses and 85 square feet in all other residential units.

Weed not welcome everywhere: Colo. cities, towns take diverging paths on recreational pot

Local weed laws: How are Colorado communities addressing legal marijuana?

Regulations also specify that the kitchen, bathrooms, or bedrooms can’t be used for cultivation.

In general, homeowners or renters with landlord consent can grow up to six plants in an enclosed and secured, inconspicuous space. Brighton residents may use only compact fluorescent lights or LED lights for their home grows.

It’s also illegal for home growers to try to sell their harvest.

Medical and retail marijuana stores, cultivation operations, marijuana-infused product manufacturers and marijuana testing facilities are all currently banned in Brighton.

Megan Mitchell: 303-954-2650, mmitchell@denverpost.com or twitter.com/Mmitchelldp

This story was first published on DenverPost.com