City Council Considers Changing Odor Laws

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver City Council committee is talking about changing the city’s odors laws weeks before recreational marijuana is to become legal and go on sale.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger found out it’s almost impossible to get an odor citation in Denver.

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There are now dozens of fragrant marijuana grow operations in Denver, but not one has been cited for their smell. A city council committee heard about the figures on Tuesday.

Ben Siller’s job is to sniff out bad odors in the city of Denver with a device called the “Nasal Ranger.”

“It’s not just the marijuana grow operations. We get complaints on coffee odors, Purina, even sources of odor that are unknown,” Siller said.

There are two ways to get cited — if the odor exceeds a 7-to-1 odor to non-odor standard, or if there are five separate complaints in a 12-hour period.

Sallinger found only two citations have been given out in the past five years. One was given to a dog treat company, and the other to a pizza restaurant. Both were due to complaints.

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Chris Laurita says he has complained three times to the city with no luck. He says he has nine marijuana grow operations in a two-block radius of his food business.

“I feel it’s quite disgusting when my customers have to come here and pick up their orders and smell the skunk odor of marijuana,” Laurita said.

The city council committee is now exploring whether to lower the level for a citation. They passed around the “Nasal Ranger” and discussed what could be done at Tuesday’s meeting.

“If I got a birthday party for my 7-year-old in the backyard and people start smoking adjacent to my property, this wind is blowing it in my direction, of course they’re going to be concerned,” Councilman Charlie Brown said.

But Laurita must deal with the pot odor daily.

“I think it’s a disgusting smell and aroma, it makes me nauseous,” he said.

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