Dear Editor,I, like many others, have attended the public forums held by the town over the past weeks. The hot topic is of course “medical marijuana - do’s and don’ts” in the Town of Lyons. As the owner of a local medical marijuana center (Lucky Farms), who has spent tens of thousands of dollars and many months of my time setting up my business, obviously, I am for regulation not a ban. With that said, after attending the meetings I walked away with an important list of concerns that the public has issues with.
The most important concern was Town of Lyons children and what the effects of medical marijuana businesses could be on them. As a parent myself, I understand this concern and on behalf of Lucky Farms, I would like to share how we address some of the issues concerning children’s exposure to our industry.
- We do not allow children in our facility. Posted on the front door at eye level is a sign that simply states: Please Respect Lucky Farms Polices No Children Are Allowed In Our MMC. This sign has been on the front door from day one of operation and will remain there.
- We warn our patients about redistribution of medication. All patients at Lucky Farms sign a Members form that states: I agree and understand that any purchase I make from Lucky Farms LLC will not be redistributed to anyone, medical marijuana patient or non-patient.
- We take discrete measures to keep medication from the eyes of children. All purchases are placed in non see-through bags preventing children from seeing contents upon patient exit.
- We maintain professional signage. Lucky Farms signage contains no marijuana symbols or descriptive word such as Pot, Marijuana, Bud, Reefer and/or Cannabis.
- We maintain visual security deterrents. All facility windows are protected with steel bars to prevent criminal activities by adults and/or youths.
- We have a double door visual deterrent. All medication is stored, viewed, and sold out of line of site from main entry.
- We do not allow patients to medicate on site. The State of Colorado strictly prohibits any consumption of medication on site or in public view. Lucky Farms enforces this regulation.
- We chose a discrete location for our facility. Our facility fully complies with the 1000’ rule proposed by the State of Colorado.
These are just a few of the ways we at Lucky Farms try to protect local children. We try to maintain a doctor’s office/pharmacy atmosphere at our location. We want to run a reputable business in the Town of Lyons. I think it’s important to add that Medical Marijuana Centers do not write prescriptions for patients, we fill them. The prescribing doctors and the State of Colorado determine who is a viable candidate for medical marijuana. We only facilitate the patients needs after they have been approved.
Many of you know that Amendment 20 allows for safe access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. What many people overlook is the patient’s right to cultivate his/her own medicine or sign their rights to cultivate over to a primary caregiver. Patients and caregivers are constitutionally protected in the State of Colorado.
At the second public forum a gentleman was using the statistic that one third of society suffers from chronic pain and would qualify for the use of medical marijuana in the State of Colorado. I believe he broke that down to approximately 600 people out of the less than 2000 people living in Lyons could qualify to be a medical marijuana patient. I would like to use his numbers for an example of what I think could happen to a small community like Lyons if Medical Marijuana Centers are banned. I will start my example by lowering his number from one third to one fourth of the people living in Lyons, approximately 500 people that could qualify for medical marijuana. Let’s break that number down even further to indicate a 50/50 split in the belief that marijuana has any medicinal value, that leaves us with 250 people living in Lyons that qualify for medical marijuana. To further break down this number let’s say 50% of the 250 people that qualify and believe that marijuana has medicinal value actually become a registered patient. This leaves us with 125 people that use marijuana for chronic pain in the town of Lyons. If the BOT or citizens of Lyons vote to ban Medical Marijuana Centers you now have 125 people that have a choice to make. They can ether travel to the next town for their medication, or they can chose to cultivate their own. For my example, let’s say 50% choose to travel and the other 50% choose to cultivate their own. The Town of Lyons by this example now has 63 medical marijuana cultivation operations constitutionally protected speckled throughout the town.
Speaking from personal experience, indoor cultivation is very expensive and a difficult way to produce medication for new growers. With that said, the town of Lyons and its youth could be subjected to a minimum of 63 outdoor grow operations most of which will be in back yard gardens with only a fence separating the youth of Lyons from access to medical marijuana. Please remember this is only an example and that I have used the lowest possible percentages in this example. The reality is by banning the highly regulated, secured, and monitored Medical Marijuana Centers the town could end up with as many as 63 (on the low end) and up to as many as 250 (on the high end) constitutionally protected, unsecured, and unmonitored backyard medical grows. It is my belief that the State of Colorado has set many small communities on the path of being over run by constitutionally protected grows. They have done this by allowing the citizens of Colorado to think by banning Medical Marijuana Centers they are banning medical marijuana and that is simply not the case. As long as Amendment 20 exists patients will have the right to cultivate their own medicine.
In closing I would like to assure the citizens of Lyons that we at Lucky Farms are doing everything in our power to preserve the community, protect the youth and operate our business in a fashion the town can be proud of.
Lucky Farms LLC