La Plata County permits third pot grower

Facility also eyes entry into recreational marijuana

A commercial medical marijuana cultivation facility in the Grandview area received approval for a permanent land-use permit from La Plata County commissioners Tuesday, making it the third such facility to receive county approval.

The cultivation facility is one of four in the county that held temporary land-use permits before the county established permanent land-use guidelines for medical marijuana facilities. All temporarily permitted facilities now have to reapply for permanent land-use permits.

The Acceptus Group’s 7,600-square-foot facility grows marijuana for a dispensary of the same name in Durango. It employs five people but plans to hire five more with future expansions, according to the business’s report to commissioners. The facility will continue to be served by a commercial water well that also serves other area businesses.

The company is interested in expanding into the recreational marijuana market as well, said Adam Gifford, a co-owner of the facility. Gifford said the owners are waiting for the implementation of state and local laws before proceeding into that realm.

The Acceptus Group began its growing operations in 2010 and received a temporary land-use permit in April 2011. All temporary land-use permits for medical marijuana facilities expired in July 2012.

While it has taken months for the Acceptus Group and others to reapply and get permanent land-use approval, they demonstrated that they were moving through the process “somewhat diligently” making it unnecessary for the county to take any enforcement action, said Carolynn Pakeltis, a planner with the county.

Medical marijuana facilities need land-use permits to get a business license, which is also required to operate in the state and the county.

Since the county finalized land-use regulations addressing medical marijuana facilities in June 2012, it hasn’t received any new applications for medical marijuana facilities, Pakeltis said.