On the sunny day in October, Mike Arnold swings open the door to his barn storehouse outside of Eugene, Oregon, and takes a big whiff. The stench hits him immediately, a sweet and skunky wall of cool air. “Smells like money,” Arnold says within his Missouri drawl, gazing out at row after row of makeshift wood-and-mesh shelving, where 12,000 pounds of marijuana were lying out to dry.
Following close behind, in colorful glasses as well as a tweed jacket, will be the cannabis engineering virtuoso in charge of keeping that pungent odor safely within the confines from the building: 39-year-old Daniel Gustafik. Gustafik has been building out pot grow rooms for 25 years, designing novel solutions for everything from irrigation to lighting to humidity control in hidden sub-basements and on off-grid homesteads long before anyone could even conceive of Bob Marley-branded weed sold openly in sleek boutiques. He along with his company, Hybrid Tech, are considered to be the best inside the game with regards to assembling industrial-scale legal cannabis operations. Previously 4 years, they’ve completed more than a hundred projects in 37 states and 2 countries.
Even while marijuana odor control procedures becomes increasingly mainstream, few are feeling chill about legalization. Pot reeks, and pot being grown or processed at commercial scale reeks a lot more. Some states and municipalities have included specifications about odor control inside their medical and recreational marijuana regulations.
But cannabis’s federally illegal status creates a variety of thorny problems. Last June, a 10th-circuit court in Colorado decided which a family who complained concerning the “noxious odors” originating from a cannabis venture next door had sufficient grounds to argue the aroma had hurt their home values, and may therefore sue for triple damages under federal racketeering law. The ruling sent shockwaves from the legal weed industry, triggering similar lawsuits in Oregon and Massachusetts, and potentially establishing a precedent in which private citizens could use federal law to topple locally licensed pot businesses. That means that marijuana’s distinctive stink could really be worse for your legalization movement than anything Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been doing, as well as the continued success of state-legal weed is influenced by rigorous odor-proofing.
Take Arnold’s cavernous drying barn, nestled among rolling hills and maple trees. This, Gustafik says, is his magnum olfactory opus: a 5,000 square foot facility, outfitted in a mere 21 days, and operating in a county dmdwjs the strictest marijuana scent control rules on the planet. Before Oregon legalized recreational weed, a lot looser medical cannabis law had been in place for quite some time, attracting inconsiderate growers used to the black market. The noise, traffic and stink annoyed locals who, subsequently, annoyed officials making use of their complaints. Then when it came time to regulate adult use, some counties preemptively took a difficult line. At a meeting to find out what these rules would appear to be in Clackamas County, one community member compared the smell to “skunk dipped in turpentine and gym socks.” Because of this, the Clackamas ordinance ultimately specified from the angle of exhaust vents to the strength of the fans utilized to circulate air. Lane County, where Arnold’s barn is found, ultimately chose to utilize the same language inside their ordinance.