Residents Complain of Smell of Growing Pot Filling the Air in Denver

Residents Complain of Smell of Growing Pot Filling the Air in Denver

Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado, the pot-growing industry has exploded in Denver’s industrial areas. Consequently the smell of the growing pot is now filling Denver’s air, as the indoor pot farms bring an acrid, skunky smell to the city and draw complaints from residents.

Certainly there are regulations that govern how much odor businesses may emit into the community, but the dank smell of pot growing is something quite new for Denverites. It is a smell quite different from that of a bakery or any of the other usual smells businesses might emit in a bustling city.

City authorities report that this year some 30 percent of the complaints about industrial odors came because of the indoor pot-growing facilities that have sprung up in the Mile High City.

USA Today reported that tests of air quality in Denver do not seem to indicate any violation of the city’s clean air ordinances. Perhaps the large number of complaints has come because residents aren’t used to the new smell in the air, but some residents are quite insistent that the odor is hurting their quality of life.

For instance, a farmer outside of Denver who is facing the development of a new pot farm in his area says that the new facility would change the character of his community.

“If there was a marijuana smell… that would be pretty hard to explain to the kids and the families that came that there was a marijuana growing operation there. It isn’t appealing in an area like this,” farmer Bob Munson told the paper.

Another problem that new growing businesses face is that state agriculture offices and university agriculture advisors won’t offer assistance to growers because marijuana is still illegal federally and many of these offices get federal funds to help farmers.

This reticence to assist growers affects private citizens, too, as Colorado citizens are allowed to grow up to six pot plants for personal use. But those seeking information about cultivating marijuana can’t get advice from government and academic agriculturalists.

Other issues have risen for pot growers, too. Last April one indoor pot-growing facility in Denver suffered an explosion during an accident involving the use of butane to extract THC oils from the plants. Three people were seriously injured in the explosion.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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