KAJX

Smelling Something in the Alley

Apr 28, 2015

The door leading to the RX Green dermal patch manufacturing shop in Aspen. The business is working with the city to reduce the pot odor emanating from the facility.
Credit Carolyn Sackariason

The smells of legalization are emanating across an alley and into the homes of Aspen residents, prompting city officials to take action. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

The marijuana dermal patch manufacturer Meachum and Company, which produces its product under the trade name, RX Green, was paid a visit by three Aspen city officials last week after neighbors complained of strong pot odors wafting up from its basement shop.

Environmental health director C.J. Oliver visited the business, located underneath the former Johnny McGuire's space at the corner of Original and Cooper, last Friday. He was accompanied by assistant city attorney Debbie Quinn and city clerk Linda Manning. The visit was prompted by two complaints made by residents behind the building at the employee housing complex Benedict Commons.

They took the smell test and determined that something needs to be done. Oliver says he business owners were cooperative and plan to remedy the situation, like scrubbing of the exhaust or putting in a carbon filtration system.

“It was a really interesting thing going over there. There really wasn’t much inside the business at all that smelled near as much as what you could smell from the outside which was sort of bizarre but again that is why we put it back to them what are you going to do to fix this. They want to be good neighbors,” he says. “They were really willing to pursue any good ideas we had or anything they could come up with they felt would help alleviate any of the issues coming out of the business.”

This is the first complaint the city’s environmental health department has received since pot became legal in Colorado. While there is no law addressing marijuana odor violations, there is a general nuisance ordinance that protects the enjoyment of public space or property. Oliver says the city will look at other municipalities in the state to see what specific laws they have created in response to marijuana odor.

“So it was new territory for us. Part of our discussion on Friday is what might we want to look at doing if this is going to become a more prevalent issue as we have more shops and potentially more manufacturing operations in the future,” Oliver says.

The city will give Meachum a couple of weeks to rectify the situation.