Apr 22, 2014 9:28 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Tucson weighs expanding limits on medical marijuana grow sites

PHOENIX - News 4 Tucson got an exclusive look inside a large-scale grow house in Phoenix to see exactly what it looks like as the City of Tucson weighs relaxing some of its own rules on medical marijuana cultivation sites.

State-licensed dispensaries can operate off-site grow houses, although cities and counties can choose to set limits by zoning and size. Tucson's size limit is 3,000 square feet - one of the more restrictive limits in the state.

Some argue Tucson's ordinance is holding back several companies from bringing business to set up shop.

Joshua Downing operates a 36,000 square foot grow facility in Phoenix which provides medical marijuana shipments to several dispensaries in Tucson.

"That's exceedingly small... you wouldn't be able to supply the amount of medicine," Downing said. "I would almost encourage -- like a lot of cities do -- large manufacturing hubs because that does supply a lot of jobs."

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik said he is open to expanding maximum size of grow facilities for companies that produce edible products.

However, Kozachik said there is no need for more supply locally.

"Right now we don't need it from a medicinal standpoint," Kozachik said, adding that he doesn't want to see Tucson become a limitless haven for grow sites.

"It's what do we want to do from a zoning standpoint to protect residential areas. TPD is concerned about it from a security standpoint," Kozachik said.

Still, at the grow site in Phoenix which has been operating for a couple of years now, Downing said there hasn't been any security or legal problems.


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