Preparing for a new "smell" in Cedar Rapids from medicinal marijuana

Medical Marijuana

State regulators are making progress in expanding the production, sale and use of medical marijuana in Iowa. But there are some secondary concerns cropping up as the corridor prepares to welcome its first manufacturer of cannabidiol oil.

Some are questioning what type of odor such a facility would add to a town already known by some as the "city of five smells." CBS2/FOX28 contacted Acreage Holdings, the company planning to build the cultivation facility just south of Wilson Avenue SW near the Linn County Community Services Building. In a statement, Phil Hague, the Director of Cultivation for Acreage told us: "The strong smell of cannabis can often escape cultivation buildings and processing centers into the outside air. These telltale smells of growing cannabis are not always welcomed by neighbors or municipalities. Acreage Holdings goes to great lengths to contain these volatile odors.

Through the use of several forms of technology and environmental controls, we are able to significantly reduce and nearly eliminate all odors. We run our facilities as completely static environments and have no exchange of indoor air into the outside world. By minimizing air exchange, we are able to lessen the likelihood of odors outside of the production facilities. We also inject CO2 into the growing environment in place of fresh air, which allows us to avoid the environmental impacts associated with traditional air conditions systems. We employ equipment within the ducting that negatively charges the positive volatile odor molecules, rendering them less volatile and less likely to escape the building. These bipolar ionization units not only drastically decrease the smell but also sterilize the air, helping prevent airborne pathogens and decreasing the need to use pesticides to fight biological contaminants. All of the air inside the building is also scrubbed by industrial carbon filters. These activated carbon filters also trap any remaining volatile odors that may have escaped the ionization units.”

Ken DeKeyser, Development Services Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids, says they are consulting with communities in Colorado where they've already dealth with mitigating odors from marijuana producers. "we don't think it's going to be a substantial difference at thsi point, we've also learned from other cities, that over time people get used to it just as they have some of our other industries here in the city/" Said DeKeyser.

Others, like Raygun Shirts in Cedar Rapids, are gearing up for the new odor, releasing new shirts for sale this week celebrating the fact.

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