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Denver Officials Threaten Punishment for Marijuana Facilities Without Odor Control Plans

Denver wants to keep the dank stank of grow-ops from disturbing the neighbors.

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Denver city officials have threatened to crack down on canna-businesses that have not submitted plans to the city detailing how they intend to handle odors emitting from their sites. This Monday, officials announced that companies that do not comply with the odor control rules could receive a citation with a fine of up to $2,000. In extreme cases, a non-complying business could risk additional fines, or may be labeled a public nuisance and forced to close.

Last year, the city adopted new rules requiring cannabis cultivators and edible manufacturers, along with pet food manufacturers, sewage treatment facilities, and other odiferous businesses to develop Odor Control Plans to detail how they would prevent unwelcome smells from disturbing their neighbors. “We’re now just getting into our busy season for odor complaints as folks open up their windows and spend more time outside,” said Bill Benerman, who handles air quality complaints for the city.

Officials have said that around one-fifth of the city's marijuana facilities have not yet submitted Odor Control Plans. “Right now we’ve just passed 120-day mark since plans were due,” Gregg Thomas, division director of environmental quality for the Denver Department of Environmental Health, said. “As with any new program we’re going to be lenient and willing to work with folks, but now it’s been four months. So these next orders to comply with administrative citations start to bring the financial penalties.”

City records show that 320 cannabis facilities have submitted plans to date, but 170 of these plans were rejected due to incomplete information and will have to be resubmitted. Ninety-seven facilities have not submitted plans at all. Thomas said that he hopes to have the backlog of Odor Control Plans cleared during the next 30 to 60 days.

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