Scarborough looks to stop the stink coming from Cannabis businesses

Scarborough looks to stop the stink coming from Cannabis businesses

The town of Scarborough may pass some tougher rules on cannabis establishments after odour complaints.

The smell coming from these sites, including growing facilities, has long been regulated by the town.

The ordinance says odours can't be detected beyond the property boundaries.

One business owner has tried to do that but worries it won't be enough.

“It’s not like it’s something new to the neighbourhood,” Coastal Maine Cannabis Co-Owner Shelley Pelletier said.

Pelletier says there's always been something a little smelly coming from Pine Point since clam chowder was canned there.

“We feel that because it's cannabis-related business that we are being, I don't know if I would say picked on, but we are being put under a microscope,” Pelletier said.

She owns the property and says cannabis started growing there in 2012.

Now, 15 of 22 businesses at the site do this.

“About five years ago we noticed it,” neighbour Eric Floyd said. “An occasional smell.”

Floyd calls it an annoyance.

“Sitting out in our backyard, kids playing on the trampoline, it’s not something I wanted to talk about with my kids,” Floyd said.

Amid complaints from other area residents, the town created a working group.

Both Floyd and Pelletier were on it.

“We want hopefully a win, win, win for everyone,” Ordinance Committee Chair Nick McGee said.

McGee says they've come up with recommendations to change the current ordinance.

That includes requirements about how to reduce the odor and what happens when people complain.

“That's where part of review really came in, which is how do we better enforce it?” McGee said

Pelletier says they've had an expert come in and identify what needs to be done.

She argues the ordinance does need to be changed.

“It does, but it needs to be changed based on science,” Pelletier said. “Not based on a number that they pull out of the air.”

She believes what is being considered won't be enough to stop the smell, just setting her up for failure.

It's a concern she says she brought to the working group before.

“If they’d like a stricter set of rules or ordinances placed upon them, I’d be happy to listen to what they have to say,” McGee said.

For now, neighbours like Floyd want to give change a try.“I can’t say with a guarantee that it would work, but I know it’s not working today,” Floyd said.

The ordinance committee will meet next Tuesday about this.

Then it still has to go before the council.

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Region: Maine