Oregon Residents, Angry About Odor From Cannabis and Hemp Farms, Ask County to Ban New Marijuana Operations

Last month, at a public hearing in Oregon, rural residents made headlines by shouting angrily about the marijuana odor coming from local farms. They urged their county commissioners to “opt out” of permitting marijuana businesses at all, the Bend Bulletin reports.

But when the marijuana growers took the microphone, they pointed the finger at other neighbors: the local hemp farmers.

Literally. One marijuana grower pointed at slides showing his small marijuana business surrounded by large hemp farms.

“There is no way you can say the odor coming from my farm is the problem,” the marijuana farmer explained.

Hemp plants look similar to marijuana plants, despite lacking their psychoactive levels of THC. They smell similar, too: Both types of plant emit the skunky cannabis scent — whether they can get you high or not.

That’s part of the confusion — and the frustration — brewing in Deschutes County, Oregon.

At the July 3 hearing, tensions were high. Local residents unleashed a “temper tantrum,” according to the Bend Source.

“Enough is enough,” said one county resident, who explained that he can smell marijuana when he drives by the farms. “Time to opt out.”

Will the residents persuade Deschutes County to ban cannabis operations altogether? 

If the county “opts out,” existing cannabis farms will still be allowed to operate — for now. But no new cannabis business licenses will be approved, and residents will vote on the question in the next general election, according to the Bend Bulletin.

Many aggrieved residents carried signs reading “Opt Out,” or simply depicting pot leaves with a red line through them.

This isn’t the first time residents in this county have raised a stink about marijuana odors.

In 2018, residents claimed that the odor coming from a field of drying hemp was giving them headaches, the Central Oregon news channel reported

The aggrieved residents alerted the sheriff, but his hands were tied: Hemp is regulated by the state Department of Agriculture, not the county.

The residents kept complaining about the smell. Last fall, the county enacted an onslaught of new regulations. All marijuana operations were required to install odor-control “devices.”

“They’re not working,” one resident announced at the recent hearing in July. He suggested the county hire a full-time engineer to review the efficacy of the odor-control devices.

Hemp farms haven’t been forced to mitigate their odors — yet.

“We all have to be on the same playing field," explained the marijuana farmer with the slide show.

Deschutes County looks for an affordable, fair solution

In this corner of Oregon, cannabis odors have pitted local residents against local farmers. Residents say the new odor-control devices just “aren’t working.”

The Odor Buster isn’t an odor-control device. It’s a natural, probiotic-based liquid solution which neutralizes unwanted odors without using chemicals or fragrances. It simply digests the odor, without leaving a trace. 

And it certainly beats hiring a full-time odor engineer.