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Moratorium put on Huerfano County cannabis growers

HUERFANO COUNTY, Colo. - Twelve applications for commercial marijuana growers were filed for Huerfano County, five of those are already up and running. But now because of a moratorium, the rest are put on hold for six months.

Scott Hunt spoke to the county commissioners on Tuesday concerned about the future of his business.

"I'm hoping that something can be done outside of a moratorium," Hunt said.

Just as Hunt was about to begin planting his hemp seeds for the second year, the county commissioners put a hold on all pending applications for commercial marijuana growers.

"Which completely took us by surprise, no pre-warning of any type," Hunt said.

He's not the only one, a room full of concerned industry members spoke to the county commissioners about what this moratorium could do to the industry.

"It means jobs, development and taxes," said Travis Nelson, president of the Colorado Cannabis Growers Association.

Commissioner Max Vezzani explained this hold comes as they try to establish more regulations for the growing industry.

"You know, there are traffic issues, there are dust concerns, odor problems," Vezzani said.

The industry professionals and commissioners want to get this ironed out as quickly as possible for the millions of dollars in investments tied up in the grows.

"I do know of at least two large deals that have been put on ice because they're not sure what's going to happen," Hunt said.

Vezzani says they don't want this to be seen as an attack on the industry.

"Are they truly in process already, or not. So we want to be fair," Vezzani said.

The commissioners are hoping to meet with the planning office and work out a compromise soon.

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