|Photo: Mark Leffingwell/Daily Camera|
|Dustin Shroyer, owner of the dispensary Root Organic MMC, Thursday afternoon at his growing facility in Boulder. The city accidentally made public the secret locations of 60 cultivation sites.|
A map showing what were supposed to be the secret locations of 60 warehouses and other structures where medical marijuana is being grown in Boulder, Colorado has accidentally been made public by the city.
Colorado state law prohibits local governments from disclosing the locations of “cultivation centers,” out of fear that would-be thieves might target the operations, reports Heath Urie at the Boulder Daily Camera.
City officials claim an “oversight” led them to publish the map on the city’s website, bouldercolorado.gov, last week as part of an agenda briefing sent to the City Council. Shown on the formerly secret map are 60 cultivation centers, 45 dispensaries and 12 product manufacturing sites that have applied for medical marijuana business licenses.
“The incompetence epidemic is so virulent and widespread nowadays that you never know whether to attribute an episode like this to political hostility or viral incompetence,” wrote Fred Gardner at CounterPunch.
The map should never have been published, according to Kathy Haddock, senior assistant city attorney who advises the council on medical marijuana issues.
“The state law requires the city, and all governments, to keep the location of grow locations confidential,” Haddock said. “It’s something we should have pulled out.”
It’s not likely that the city will face any penalties from the slip, according to Steven Zansberg, an expert in open records law.
Ironically, the council will decide at its January 18 meeting whether Boulder should circumvent the open records act exemption for cultivation centers by requiring applicants for medical marijuana licenses to waive their right to privacy.
The council is considering forcing all marijuana growers to sign such a privacy waiver before they can receive a city-issued business license.
The city attorney’s office, however, is split on the idea.
Some staffers support making the locations of growing operations public because Boulder “typically wants things open,” according to Haddock. But City Attorney Tom Carr is against requiring growers to sign a privacy waiver.
“My concern is based on my experience with illegal grow operations,” Carr said. “What happens at times is people try to rob them because there’s money and pot there.”
Boulder should “honor that while the state works this out,” according to Carr, since the Legislature wants to prevent those kinds of robberies.
He said state lawmakers might take a second look at the privacy rule later this year.
Boulder should keep growing locations secret, according to Dustin Shroyer, owner of the Root Organic MMC dispensary. “It’s important to us just for security purposes,” he said.
But he expressed confidence in the security of his operation, which he called “so secure that anybody who would try to break in would have the police surround them instantly.”
Shroyer said city officials and medical marijuana business owners are still learning how to deal with each other.
“It’s very important to let them work the bugs out of their system, he said.