Brush won’t allow former prison to be converted into marijuana facility

(Photo: MGN Online)

(Photo: MGN Online)

BRUSH, Colo. — The Brush City Council voted Monday to continue with its moratorium on marijuana sales, preventing a businessman from turning the former High Plains Correctional prison into a facility to cultivate and sell retail marijuana, the Brush News-Tribune reported.

The city held two meetings seeking input from citizens, most of whom were against lifting the moratorium.

A proposal to put the issue to a vote of Brush residents was rejected. The council voted 4-3 to keep the moratorium through 2016.

“There is still too much unknown to go forward,” Councilwoman Vicky Quinlan said. “I say the moratorium stays in place. There is not enough information out there yet to take it to the vote of the people.”

The newspaper said Mayor Chuck Schonberger read a prepared statement in which he had been warned of retaliation if he didn’t vote a certain way.

“I strongly feel we need to vote on this measure. I am in favor of it,” he said.

Nicholas Erker of Fort Morgan bought the prison earlier this year and petitioned the city to reverse the moratorium so he could cultivate and sell marijuana at the facility.