Surna Decomplicates New Odor Control Rules for Denver Cultivators

Last November, the City of Denver released new regulations concerning odor control for cannabis cultivation facilities. Previously, Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH) only mandated odor control plans for facilities that received a certain number of complaints but that is no longer the case. Both existing facilities, as well as new ones, will require an odor control plan going forward or risk financial penalties for non-compliance.

April 6, 2017

Last November, the City of Denver released new regulations concerning odor control for cannabis cultivation facilities. Previously, Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH) only mandated odor control plans for facilities that received a certain number of complaints but that is no longer the case. Both existing facilities, as well as new ones, will require an odor control plan going forward or risk financial penalties for non-compliance.

Like all new regulations in this industry, these new odor control rules have proven to be a headache for many cultivators. Facility owners are now faced with retrofitting an existing facility, causing significant frustration. Many facilities are already operating at full capacity, and yet they must now find new space for additional equipment.

Owners are finding the new regulations confusing. The new rules state that facilities must follow best practices to develop an odor control plan. However, as we know, the cannabis industry is so young that best practices do not exist. Instead, DEH has suggested looking at best practices in comparable industries but has provided very little guidance.  While the city has been available for individual consultations, many owners and cultivators have found it difficult to find the time to meet with the agency to understand these new rules, leaving many scrambling as the February deadline came and went. Some were able to retrofit their facilities in time but many were not and are now facing financial penalties.

Fortunately, Surna was prepared for these regulations early on. We saw the frustration facility owners were experiencing and provided odor control consulting services, working with the facility owners and the city to ensure compliance.

We always recommend that cultivators turn to experts when new regulations arise. Because this industry is so new, it’s often hard for owners to navigate the changing landscape and stay compliant.  Since Surna is an expert on all things indoor cultivation, this was an obvious step for us.

Our engineering team started this new challenge by looking at comparable industries and their best practices for odor control. In particular, we looked at sewer processing and wastewater treatment industry standards for the discharge and treatment of pollutants to develop an odor control plan for our customers.

Next, Surna’s engineers considered the specific needs of each facility. One complication of this regulation is that every facility is different and so our odor control plans needed to reflect that. Surna has developed a comprehensive solution that involves a number of steps and elements to ensure we’re providing facility specific plans. This includes breaking down areas into process control spaces (areas that contain odor generating activities like flowering and trimming) and non-process control spaces (areas that do not generate odor like office areas and vegetation rooms). Then Surna’s engineers begin working on a custom plan for each space.

Dealing with these new regulations is frustrating, especially for established facilities that have been running smoothly since they opened. At Surna, we understand all frustrations related to cultivation, including these, and want to help cultivators and owners find the specific solution for their facility. Though the deadline for implementing these regulations has passed, there is still an opportunity for Denver facilities to adopt an odor control plan and become compliant and Surna is here to help. We are always available to talk through these new rules, look at your facility and suggest options. Give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.

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