Michigan town in fight against smell of marijuana


The small town of Bessemer, Michigan, has bought a $3,400 odor-detection device amid increased complaints from residents over the omnipresent smell of marijuana. 

“The city of Bessemer stinks. You can smell marijuana everywhere. We’ve got people who can’t sit in their backyard because the smell from their neighbor is so bad,” council member Linda Nelson said during voting on purchasing the Nasal Ranger device that residents hope will help with the problem.

Michigan legalized weed via ballot in November of 2018, paving the way for the home-growing of cannabis plants for recreational use.

Bessemer City Manager Charly Loper told the Associated Press the town’s odor problem occurs when the cannabis plants are in bloom. 

“The bloom period lasts six to eight weeks. A lot of people describe it as a skunk-like odor. It can be strong,” she explains.

Still, Loper underlines the importance of respecting people’s legal rights to grow cannabis at home. 

“We’re treading very softly in this area. People have a right to grow marijuana in their house, but everyone needs to be considerate of their neighbors so the odor isn’t affecting their enjoyment of the outdoors,” according to Loper. 

City employee George Beninghaus is set to undergo training for operating the Nasal Ranger.

According to the Nasal Ranger website, the device is a “state-of-the-art in field olfactometry for confidently measuring and quantifying odor strength in the ambient air.”

Californians battled the smell of weed also 

The small town of Bessemer isn’t the first in the US to complain about the potent odor produced by cannabis plants. In fact, the Nasal Ranger has been in use in Colorado ever since they legalized pot.

In 2018, a series of Californian counties encountered the same problem after the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016. 

In Sonoma County, residents tried to ban cannabis companies from their neighborhoods due to the strong smell of marijuana spreading from greenhouses.

Over in Mendocino County, cannabis cultivation zones were established after multiple complaints about marijuana’s skunk-like smell. 

“It’s as if a skunk, or multiple skunks in a family, were living under our house. It’s beyond anything you would imagine,” one disgruntled Sonoma County resident shared. 

About the author
Jelena Cikes

Writer and journalist specialized in financial markets and American politics. Pop culture aficionado, travel junkie, YouTube devotee.

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