US (CA): Grower proposes carbon scrubbers for cannabis greenhouse in Carpinteria

At the allegorical 11th hour and 59th minute, owners of a proposed new cannabis greenhouse in Carpinteria — about three-quarters the size of Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo Mall — submitted last-minute new plans to install a state-of-the-art internal carbon filtration system to prevent fugitive pot odors from becoming a neighborhood nuisance. 

This new indoor odor-control system would be in lieu of the outdoor air-misting system initially proposed — used by many greenhouse operations — which is designed to neutralize the smell of cannabis by changing the molecular structure of vapors “burped” from the greenhouse. This substitution came shortly before this Wednesday’s meeting of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. Commissioners voted to delay their vote until September 1 to give members of the public — not to mention county planning and legal staff — time to review the new proposal.

To the extent the battle over cannabis has been driven by odor complaints, this proposed new approach could prove to be a game changer. Industry critics throughout the Carpinteria Valley have long complained about cannabis odor intrusion and have insisted for almost as long that all greenhouses be equipped with carbon scrubbers, which reportedly capture the smell before it can escape outside. Until recently, the cannabis industry has argued back that most greenhouses are not structurally equipped to accommodate carbon scrubbers. Likewise, they have noted that Carpinteria lies at the tail end of the system for electrical deliveries and that that the demand for additional electricity imposed by carbon filtration systems could strain the grid’s carrying capacity.


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