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I just want to express my support for the class action suit that has been filed in Carpinteria against growers there. None of us living in beautiful Carpinteria Valley is opposed to the growth of cannabis, But the current systems used to control the odor are simply not effective, especially within the short distances between growers and residences. So this suit is not intended as an individual suit but rather one seeking relief for a class of people; all of us in Carpinteria Valley. That’s important to remember.
What’s more, the purpose of the suit is primarily to call attention to the failure of county officials to put in place an appropriate set of regulations governing the ramp-up of this new industry. The unrestricted licensing of legal non-conforming grows which are now operating without the constraints of county ordinances is what’s causing the problem. Those ordinances are generally good, if enforced! They could be strengthened by clarifying that “best available odor control technology” is closed greenhouses with carbon filtration. Yes, that’s expensive, but these growers stand to gain a great deal!
There is of course also the medical issue. Doctors in town (e.g., Judy Dean, MD) have gone on record to state that the impact of VOCs on asthma and other health issues is evident.
In short this suit is not about money, but it’s about growers being good neighbors. It’s not about the plaintiffs collecting money, nor should it be about growers getting rich while Carpinterians serve as guinea pigs in a smelly community.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Planning Commission, amendments to the ordinances to limit smell to the boundaries of the grow were considered. That’s a great idea! Do it! There is also consideration for what I believe is the most important strengthening that could occur; the requirement that all grows install closed systems with carbon filtration.