Pubdate: Wed, 20 Nov 2013
Source: Aspen Times, The  (CO)
Copyright: 2013 Aspen Times
Author: Ronald Radtke


As the owner of Green Essentials in Glenwood Springs and soon-to-open
Aspen Green Dragon dispensaries, there are some facts that need to be
brought to the public's attention.

People who are misinformed are providing information as fact, causing
an unnecessary public outcry over the greenhouses we propose to erect
in Woody Creek for a medical marijuana grow. Most of what is being
spread is beyond misinformation and borders on lies, exaggerations and

This is a clean use of the land that fits the character of the area.
The greenhouse uses natural light and organic nutrients. There are no
grow lights and it is a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional
grows in the area. There will be no high-intensity lights glowing
brightly in the night. The proposal is being modified, recessing the
greenhouses into the ground, lowering the height from 16 feet to 12

The traffic impact on the area will be minimal. Six to seven employees
will be onsite, all badged by the state's Marijuana Enforcement
Division, which requires they have no felonies and are current on tax
and loan obligations. They also are fingerprinted and checked by the
FBI. Access to the area will be restricted to employees and escorted

Considerable comment has been made concerning sound and odor. Garfield
County recently noted that there were virtually no odors directly
outside our current indoor grow facility. The odor from the
greenhouses should be undetectable. The fans, which run
intermittently, will be completely below the noise threshold from 
Highway 82.

There is no threat to wildlife from our growing techniques or the
plant itself. Organic nutrients are used and are safe for animal and
human consumption.

Woody Creek zoning where the greenhouses are to be erected is AR10.
The product being grown is agricultural and a fit for this area. Other
agricultural businesses in this area include a potato farm of more
than 5 acres attached to vodka distillery, and a large medical
marijuana grow. The property was purchased because of the zoning,
which allows for agricultural growing.

The definition of agriculture:

a. Agriculture is farming, growing crops, cultivation and

b. Agricultural land use is the most natural original land

c. Agriculture zoning protects the land for growing.

d. In our area the natural growing season is severely restricted,
requiring the most hi-tech methods.

e. Natural light is the basic staple of agricultural growing, and most
hi-tech state of the art growing is using greenhouse enclosures.

f. The current operations of Green Essentials has abided by all local
and Marijuana Enforcement Division laws and requirements. We have had
no citations and allow no illegal activities on our premises.

The land-use change before the Board of County Commissioners should be
considered as just that. It is a request for an exemption for
greenhouses, not as a judgment on the growing of marijuana. The county
has overwhelmingly voted to allow the sale and growing of marijuana,
which is allowed in an agricultural zoned area. We are a family-owned
business and as such, we are trying to do everything we can to
mitigate the concerns of our neighbors.

Ronald Radtke

Owner, Green Essentials and Aspen Green Dragon
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