A line of cloned cannabis plants inside of a licensed Washington grow facility.

Sarah Climaco

Colorado’s House of Representatives has passed a bill that would impose a 16-plant limit on residential grows – part of the state’s efforts to stem the so-called grey market operating in the state, the Denver Post reports. Another bill, currently introduced in the House, creates the Grey and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Grant Program, which would use $6 million annually from the state’s cannabis sales tax fund to help local law enforcement crackdown on illegal grows.

The 16-plant limit would apply to both individual medical and recreational growers unless their municipality passes further restrictions. Licensed caregivers would still be allowed to grow more than 16 plants; however they would have to grow additional plants in areas zoned for commercial grows.

Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said that the current limit of up to 99 plants is “a massive loophole” in the state law which “attracts criminal elements.”

“Colorado voters did not envision massive, commercial-grade home-grow operations in residential areas and those who maintain that this is in some way permitted by the State Constitution are flat out wrong,” he said in the report.

The grant bill has not yet been voted on by the House, and the home-grow measure will next move to the Senate. If approved by the legislature, both would need to be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper who has expressed his support for reigning in the state’s illicit cannabis trade.

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