Avoid downloading modules

I am developing a theme that is to be deployed on several blogs. I have been able to set up the content repo to pull the generated assets from the theme repo.

The content repo is here:

The content repo pulls the theme repo from here:

When I am making changes to the theme I would like to pull one of the content repos so that I can test the changes with live content before pushing changes to production. However, when I import the content repo into the theme repo for local development it is not able, and it gives the following error:

   $ hugo server
hugo: downloading modules …
    go: github.com/porteconj/research_report upgrade => v0.0.0-20200322153840-798b652cb013
    go get: github.com/porteconj/research_report@v0.0.0-20200322153840-798b652cb013: parsing go.mod:
    	module declares its path as: theme
    	        but was required as: github.com/porteconj/research_report
    hugo: collected modules in 9629 ms
    Error: module "github.com/porteconj/research_report" not found; either add it as a Hugo Module or store it in "/Users/olafg/dev/pej/blog_theme/themes".: module does not exist

My research has led me to believe that it is trying to pull the theme repo as a module even when run from the theme repo, and causing an error that way. I have tried configuring the module with the available options (ignoreConfig and disable), but it does not seem to fix the issue. The module configs can be found in the repo:

Content repo (working):

Theme repo (not working):

Any ideas?