Five-acre marijuana field proposed in Missouri Heights | PostIndependent.com

Five-acre marijuana field proposed in Missouri Heights

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

A ranch that has grown everything from strawberries to potatoes in Missouri Heights for 125 years wants to add cannabis to the list.

A company that received prior approval from Eagle County to build two greenhouses and a drying and processing barn for an indoor marijuana growing operation on Missouri Heights has applied to add 5 acres of outdoor marijuana fields.

RFSCG-1 LLC has applied to add the outdoor cultivation area to property at 421 Upper Cattle Creek Road, about 8 miles from El Jebel.

The partners in the company, Pete Tramm and Rob Holmes, have opened five recreational marijuana stores since teaming in 2014, according to their application. One of their marijuana shops is in Basalt. They also constructed a 5,000-square-foot cultivation facility in Leadville.

They received approval in October 2014 for two greenhouses of 4,000 square feet each, a 5,000-square-foot drying structure and a 1,000-square-foot shed on Holmes’ property in Missouri Heights, but they have not built the indoor grow operation. The 5-acre marijuana field will be integrated into the plan.

“Our proposed outdoor cultivation operations will utilize natural occurring solar lighting and energy only. The only artificial lighting used for this operation will be in starting the plants indoors for outdoor planting,” the application said.

An 8-foot fence will surround the pot field to keep out humans and wildlife.

Tramm couldn’t be reached for comment about the project. The application said it is a compatible use of the site.

“This ranch has been agricultural land since the late 1800s,” the application said. “Agricultural crops that have been grown in this area include potatoes, herbs, tomatoes, strawberries, and hay and sod operations.”

The partners wrote that they have senior water rights, dating to May 1889, which will be used to irrigate the pot field.

Outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities are eligible for special use approval in Eagle County, the application said. The application is being reviewed by the county staff. No date has been set yet for review by the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission, which advises the county commissioners on land use issues in the Roaring Fork Valley area.

The application said the outdoor growing operations will start about May 1 and end around Nov. 1. Hand-planting the marijuana plants will employ four to six people seven days a week for an unspecified time.

“Harvest will commence around the first to second week in October and will last approximately four weeks,” the application said. “There will be approximately 40-60 people harvesting the crop.”

The company will employ a catering crew during the harvest “to feed the harvest labor in order to maximize productivity during the harvest,” the application said.

scondon@aspentimes.com