Denver’s Odor Control Plan

In May 2016, Denver revised its odor ordinance to require certain odor-producing industries, including the cannabis industry, to develop an odor control plan (“OCP”), which describes specific odor mitigation technologies and techniques a facility uses to comply with Denver’s updated odor regulations.

The updated regulations are now in effect and Denver held a presentation on December 9, 2016, which McAllister Garfield attended, to discuss the new requirements. Each cultivation and MIP license in Denver is required to submit an OCP to Denver Environmental Health (“DEH”) by February 8, 2017.

Three types of businesses are required to develop and submit OCPs with the assistance of a licensed engineer or a certified industrial hygienist:

  • A regulated business, such as pet food manufacturing and marijuana;
  • A business that has received five or more complaints from individuals from separate households or businesses within a 30-day period; and
  • A business that emits odorous contaminants that exceed state regulatory standards for odor intensity.

Denver’s Odor Ordinance website provides more information.

All marijuana cultivation licensees and marijuana infused products manufacturing licensees require OCPs. Retail stores and MMCs, however, do not. Many businesses will either need to install new odor control technologies or modify existing technologies. Some businesses, however, may already be in compliance with the ordinance through state-of-the-art odor mitigation technology. For those businesses, an engineer or industrial hygienist must assist in the development of an OCP detailing the existing odor mitigating technology and practices of the facility.

Each license will have its own distinct OCP identification number. However, where multiple licenses are located at a single facility, the business may submit one OCP to address all co-located, commonly-owned licenses. For example, a business with a medical grow, a medical MIP, a retail grow, and a retail MIP at the same facility may submit a single OCP for all four licenses.

DEH is available to provide OCP guidance to cannabis business owners through one-on-one OCP development assistance until February 7, 2017. DEH will inspect all cannabis businesses after February 8, 2017, though it is unclear how long it will take to conduct these inspections. DEH inspectors will prioritize businesses that have been the subject of odor complaints and businesses who have not submitted a timely OCP. Businesses will be obligated to regularly update DEH when changes are made to the facility or when a license changes location.