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Proposed odor ordinance for Reno could take aim at cannabis facilities

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The city of Reno could add an "odor nuisance" chapter to address smells considered a nuisance, and that could include the odor of marijuana.

By adding Chapter 8.38 "Odor Nuisance" to Reno Municipal Code, Title 8, "Public Peace, Safety, and Morals," officers from the Code Enforcement Division could investigate complaints charged against businesses due to smells.

Odor nuisances are any type of issue that impacts the quality of life or safety, or it could be anything that people consider offensive.

Eight active cultivation facilities in Reno could be affected by the proposal.

City Attorney Karl Hall said cultivation and manufacturing would be addressed in the proposed ordinance.

"So if we do have a marijuana business that is cultivating, manufacturing, disseminating in that offensive order that is affecting the neighbors, then we would address, look into and see if a citation is appropriate," Hall said.

Officers would use an instrument known as an olfactometer to measure the number of contaminants in the air, according to Hall.

Code enforcement would continue to investigate and see if it finds the smell offensive to the senses. If a violation does occur, a citation would be given to the company, which would have 30 days to abate the smell. The fine could cost $250.

Although the city has not received any complaints regarding marijuana odor, Councilmember Oscar Delgado said the city must grow with the times.

"All policies are organic, so they're always ever-changing," Delgado said. "Whenever there are opportunities to enhance current ordinance, we need to do so."

City council last approved amendments to the nuisance section of the municipal code in 2012 and 2014.

This request to amend the code will be heard Wednesday, November 8, at noon at City Hall.

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