September 02, 2020 Feature

Yes to Cannabis! Just Not in My Backyard: An Analysis of Odor-Based Claims in the Cannabis Industry

By Christopher D. Strunk
MysteryShot/iStock via Getty Images Plus

MysteryShot/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Prudent cannabis cultivators should proactively address potential odor issues, because even legal businesses face civil liability if their actions create a nuisance.

Cannabis cultivation has had a significant and often transformative impact on the local economies and communities where it is grown. Cannabis has become a multibillion-dollar industry, which is projected to continue to expand as more jurisdictions fully legalize cannabis. By way of example, industrial hemp—which the 2018 Farm Bill removed from the Controlled Substances Act—was grown on approximately 511,442 acres in 2019, representing a 455 percent increase over 2018.1 Though the coronavirus pandemic may curtail some of the growth projections for the industry in the short term, states like California, Michigan, Oregon, and Pennsylvania identified cannabis dispensaries as “essential businesses,” allowing sales to continue notwithstanding the lockdowns.2

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