The Top Cannabis Odor Mitigation Tips To Stay In Compliance

To dispel community concerns and complaints, many state regulations require odor mitigation stipulations to meet compliance. In fact, most states require cannabis odor control to be included in cultivator standard operating procedures at the time of license approval.

Whether you’re a new licensee seeking approval or a current business looking to improve or expand operations, it’s crucial to understand the options available for odor mitigation systems. ProCanna spoke with expert Marc Byers, founder and president of custom equipment manufacturer and research firm Byers Scientific, to better understand the best practices for cannabis odor mitigation and how to implement them for compliance success. 

Best Practices for Cannabis Odor Mitigation

If and when a compliance officer comes knocking to inspect your cultivation operation, you’ll want to avoid getting flagged for odor. It’s best to ensure your odor mitigation systems work effectively 24/7 for compliance’s sake. By giving proper attention to your cannabis odor mitigation plan, you can help avoid citizen complaints that often drive compliance officers directly to your door.

1. Consider Location

If you’re in the process of finding a new location, Byers recommends first considering the site location. Local meteorological conditions can play a greater role in the transmission of odor than cultivators might expect.

Based on the climate, commercial grow HVAC systems can help because they’re designed to exhaust air out to maintain optimal temperatures and humidity levels. As the hot air is pushed outside, odor tags along with it. Understanding the building’s layout, exhaust systems, and the direction of the wind is key to avoiding complaints or issues.

As commercial cannabis cultivators grapple with odor mitigation, most will recruit experts to help curate and design their initial cannabis odor mitigation systems. Rather than redesigning a system after an odor issue arises, potentially compromising the community’s perception of the operator, it’s better to have an expert’s opinion from the beginning. Doing so can help dodge any potential liability accrued for any and all license holders and stakeholders.

2. Conduct an emissions analysis

“The critical first step in the assessment process is identifying the gas-phase emission rate (GPER) of the canopy,” Byers told ProCanna. “This is a unique capability pioneered by Byers Emissions Analysis’ team of scientists.”

Emissions analysis testing is the state-of-the-art approach to rightsizing technology for cannabis odor removal. (Again, Byers Scientific greatly helped advance the understanding and assessment of cannabis plant emissions.) By understanding and using each operation’s site-specific volumetric measurements and BVOC (biogenic volatile organic compounds) emission-load, you can determine a facility’s unique emissions profile and use that information to determine the number and type of odor mitigation systems required to effectively mitigate odors before they leave the facility.

3. Install the appropriate molecular filtration systems

Molecular filtration, also known as carbon scrubbing, is one of the most cost-efficient ways to purify air and mitigate cannabis odors in indoor grow operations. Molecular filtration systems are equipped with fans that draw air into activated carbon filtration media, and output air that’s been scrubbed of odorous gases and compounds. This method effectively diminishes the aroma of cannabis plants’ signature and pungent scents.

To meet compliance, include the number of molecular filtration systems that will be used as well as their size and exact locations in your facility’s layout to expedite the cannabis odor mitigation approval process. Additionally, have a system in place that automates the replacement of carbon media. To avoid any odor breakthrough, the optimal method for determining this specific timeframe is to have a butane life test (ASTM D5228-92) conducted at six months and again at 10 to 12 months. This helps determine the remaining life of your carbon media and when it’s time to replace it.

“A noteworthy point to make is not all activated carbon is the same and the selection of carbon plays a significant role in odor mitigation,” emphasizes Byers. “For example, studies indicate that activated coconut shell carbon is more effective than traditional bituminous charcoal.”

Improving Operations for Compliance Success

Odor mitigation is only one aspect of compliance. It can be overwhelming for cultivators to stay on top of the many compliance regulations on their own. Luckily, there are comprehensive software solutions that help to streamline and automate key compliance components, including but not limited to odor mitigation. By implementing these systems, cultivators can pay more attention to what matters the most: growth, profits, and overall success.

If you’re seeking to optimize your cannabis facility’s compliance operations, look no further than ProCanna, a software solution designed by industry leaders for industry leaders. ProCanna is equipped with audit and SOP management, updated state-specific regulation blocks, and customizable features for employee training. Schedule a demo today to see how the software can maximize your operation’s efficiency and efficacy.