Odor complaints sparking talk of new ordinances in Colorado

Colorado officials who have long since settled how to zone marijuana cultivation to address odor complaints are starting to turn their sights to the hemp industry.

Local authorities in Boulder voted this week to limit hemp businesses to three within a 500-foot radius, an attempt to address smell complaints related to the college town’s five dozen or so hemp businesses, The (Boulder) Daily Camera reported.

The change would bring hemp businesses in line with the town’s existing limits on marijuana businesses.

“With respect to odor, we want to encourage these types of businesses, whether they’re hemp or marijuana, to be concentrated and closer together because the more they’re spread out around town, the more residents and other businesses they’re going to impact,” Mayor Pro Tem Bob Yates said.

And in the Colorado mountain county of Pitkin, which does not allow commercial marijuana cultivation, some residents are pushing for limits on hemp production, The Aspen Times reported.

The county commission discussed hemp smell concerns in May but declined to take action, citing right-to-farm laws in place. The officials decided to monitor complaints through the 2020 growing season and revisit the tpoic.

Odors from hemp and marijuana cultivation and processing are often cited by communities that limit or block cannabis businesses. Odor complaints are common across the agriculture sector, especially in the dairy and livestock industries.