Apr 21, 2014 8:29 PM by Nathan O'Neal
AMADO - Santa Cruz County is considering taking another look at its zoning laws which regulate medical marijuana grow facilities.
Dispensaries in the Phoenix area are planning to build a 50,000 square foot green house to grow medical marijuana in a rural patch of land just east of Interstate 10.
Concerned residents are asking the county to reconsider its zoning policies which currently have few limits for marijuana cultivation sites.
The dispensary owners told News 4 Tucson that the large-scale green house has already received final approvals on state and local levels and is expected to break ground within the next six months.
The Santa Cruz Planning & Zoning Commission plans to discuss local rules at its meeting this Thursday.
This comes at a time when the City of Tucson is considering loosening some of its own rules regarding cultivation sites. Tucson currently boasts some of the most restrictive rules for marijuana grow sites, limiting square footage.
Supporters of the medical marijuana industry insist that opening up Tucson's regulations will allow them to be larger in scale, making them more competitive with other cities.
"Cultivation centers will be built somewhere in the State of Arizona... Why not here? If we do not build them here, we will import our medical marijuana from Phoenix and potentially Nogales," said Demitri Downing, a consultant for the state's medical marijuana industry.