Defunct Colorado Prison Could Be Used To Grow Marijuana

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Brush, Colo., voted against legalizing pot but now a cannabis entrepreneur wants to grow pot there. The city council will hear comments about the plan to create a maximum security pot farm and shop.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word In Business is the story of a prison going to pot.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

That is the proposed new use for a defunct prison - Colorado's High Plains Correctional Facility.

INSKEEP: Go ahead - take a moment, make that little joke about High Plains, and then we'll continue with this story at the prison's host city, which is being forced to confront Colorado's legalization of marijuana.

WERTHEIMER: That city, Brush, Colorado, voted against legalizing pot. But now a cannabis entrepreneur wants to bring pot right to their doorstep - actually, to their former prison.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Nick Erker of Colorado Farm Products sees a creative reuse.

NICK ERKER: You have a 60,000-square-foot concrete building that's surrounded by barbed-wire fence and razor-wire on the top of it. It just really intrigued me. I said this is amazing.

INSKEEP: So Mr. Erker bought the ex-prison and says he wants to use the grounds for growing marijuana. He says this will bring jobs to the community just as the prison once did.

WERTHEIMER: And tonight the city council will hear public comment about the plan to create a maximum-security pot farm and shop. In the past, some Colorado residents were sent to prison for pot. Now they might go voluntarily. That's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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