Marijuana grow house wins legal battle that potentially could have impacted industry

DENVER -- The owner of a marijuana grow house has won a court battle to stay in business after being sued by neighbors claiming the smell of weed was too much to handle.

The showdown took place at the federal courthouse in Denver.

The owners of a horse ranch in Pueblo County were going after a grow house they say not only smelled bad, but was hurting the value of their property.

The federal jury sided with Canna Craft Grow House in Rye about 30 miles southwest of Pueblo.

The owners of Meadows Legacy Horse Ranch a quarter-mile away sued, claiming noxious odors were too much to handle.

“It was amazing," grow house owner Parker Walton said. "You know it was four years of pressure that was just immediately lifted off."

The horse ranch owners also claimed the small  indoor cultivation facility devalued their property.

Parker’s attorney’s argued property values on the Pueblo County prairie had increased.

“I think it’s extremely frivolous and I think it was shown today and a three-day trial, they never had any concrete proof of any of their claims," Walton said.

A Washington-based group filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hope and Mike Reilly three years ago.

Safe Streets Alliance has been using an old racketeering law to target states that ignore federal drug laws.

Walton believes losing the case would have cost him millions in attorneys' fees and shut him down.

The plaintiffs did not return messages for comment.

Many in the marijuana industry were watching the case, fearing they could face the same fate had Walton lost.

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