On a sunny day in October, Mike Arnold swings open the door to his barn storehouse outside 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 in the Missouri drawl, gazing out at row after row of make shift wood-and-mesh shelving, where 12,000 pounds of marijuana were lying to dry.
Following close behind, in colorful glasses as well as a tweed jacket, is the cannabis engineering virtuoso accountable for keeping that pungent odor safely within the confines of 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 can even conceive of Bob Marley-branded weed sold openly in sleek boutiques. He and his awesome company, Hybrid Tech, are now regarded as among the best inside the game in terms of setting up industrial-scale legal cannabis operations. Before four years, they’ve completed over a hundred projects in 37 states and 2 countries.
Even while marijuana odor control procedures becomes increasingly mainstream, not many are feeling chill about legalization. Pot reeks, and pot being grown or processed at commercial scale reeks even more. Some states and municipalities have included specifications about odor control in their medical and recreational marijuana regulations.
But cannabis’s federally illegal status creates all sorts of thorny problems. Last June, a 10th-circuit court in Colorado decided that a family who complained regarding the “noxious odors” coming from a cannabis venture nearby had sufficient grounds to argue the aroma had hurt their house values, and may therefore sue for triple damages under federal racketeering law. The ruling sent shockwaves with the legal weed industry, triggering similar lawsuits in Oregon and Massachusetts, and potentially establishing a precedent in which private citizens can use federal law to topple locally licensed pot businesses. Which means that marijuana’s distinctive stink could really be worse for that legalization movement than anything Attorney General Jeff Sessions has done, and also 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 sq . ft . facility, outfitted in a mere 21 days, and operating in a county dmdwjs the strictest marijuana scent control rules in the world. Before Oregon legalized recreational weed, a much looser medical cannabis law was in place for several years, attracting inconsiderate growers used to the black market. The noise, traffic and stink annoyed locals who, subsequently, annoyed officials using their complaints. When it came time for you to regulate adult use, some counties preemptively took a tough line. At a meeting to find out what these rules would seem like in Clackamas County, one community member compared the smell to “skunk dipped in turpentine and gym socks.” Consequently, the Clackamas ordinance ultimately specified from the angle of exhaust vents to the effectiveness of the fans utilized to circulate air. Lane County, where Arnold’s barn is found, ultimately made a decision to utilize the same language within their ordinance.