In Jeanette, a hemp drying facility was issued a cease and desist notice to immediately halt operations. Fire Chief Bill Frye delivered the notice to the warehouse on Thomas Avenue.
The reason for the closure isn’t because they are operating an illegal company, but because Patriot Shield Security, a Colorado-based company, opened in September without completing any of the steps needed.
“They came in, and we found out through word of mouth that they had opened a business there,” Frye told the Tribune Review, “and there was never a permit issued or an inspection done.”
When officials found out, they inspected the facility and found many different issues including inadequate exit lighting, and not providing architectural drawings as the city requested.
Local residents were already complaining about the smell. The state Department of Environmental Protection gave them two notices on October 1 and November 1 regarding the odor.
Even with all these issues, the city didn’t initially react by shutting them down. They first gave the company a temporary permit that gave them until November 2 to comply with the city code.
Some criticize that this step shouldn’t have been taken as it allowed the company to continue to work through the short hemp harvesting season. Officials weren’t sure how to handle this situation, because this industry is new and the rules surrounding it are still a little murky.
The company is also being protested by employees. The employees are complaining that they hadn’t been paid in weeks. Many of the 200 employees working in the warehouse were still working despite the lack of payroll.
Now the warehouse will be shut down unless an occupancy permit is obtained and all their city issues are resolved.