from our original article, November 8, 2019.
Part 2 - Ventura County, California.
A presentation on the newly legalized but strong-smelling hemp crops being planted in Ventura County is planned today before the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in Moorpark. Supervisor Bob Huber, who represents Moorpark and Simi Valley, said he asked for the item to be placed on the board's agenda because a number of his constituents have complained about the smell. "I thought it should be publicly discussed," he said.
Well over 50 people have complained to Huber's office in telephone calls and emails over the past couple months, most of them from the Moorpark area, said Joel Angeles, Huber's chief of staff. The smell is most pronounced in the early morning and just before sundown, he said. "During the late summer, people like to eat outside and it made it impossible," he said.
Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams plans to deliver the presentation on the crop at the board meeting at the Moorpark Community Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. No action by the board is proposed. The board scheduled the meeting in Moorpark before the recent controversy over hemp arose, following a pattern of occasionally meeting in cities outside the county government's headquarters in Ventura.
Juana Garcia inspects industrial hemp flowers for insects at McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo. More than 4,100 acres in Ventura have been registered for commercial production of hemp since Congress legalized the crop late last year. Williams had predicted that the crop could bring at least $100 million in estimated gross value for growers this year. The Board of Supervisors has jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas where much of the hemp is being grown, but has not enacted any land-use regulations to date.
The Ojai City Council has prohibited growing of industrial hemp within city limits while the Thousand Oaks City Council has enacted a moratorium on new hemp businesses until September 2020. The Camarillo City Council considered a moratorium but narrowly voted it down.
AND THE SOLUTION
Northridge Laboratories is developing an enhanced technology that could make life a lot easier for growers–and the people around them.
Hemp plants, cousins to marijuana, release strong smells as their flavor-producing terpenes reach maturity. The scent of even a few rows of plants can travel a quarter mile.
On national scale, odor coming off the plants has become a “hot-button” issue with complaining neighbors. We examined the issue for over two years from the perspective of the environment to ease relations with the community. The industry has rejected our attempt to “control odor” and rebuffed on the premise that “the cost would reduce profit margins.” We believe that plant order will compromise the industry and create a backlash from the community and voters. Who wants a “dump” next to your property? State legislators will enact rules more burdensome that necessary.
Our solution is to correct the problem now. The remedy is an odor-capturing platform for cannabis, which is a customized version of a waterless vapor-phase system that specifically addressed the needs of hemp and marijuana farms. Our waterless vapor-phase system, known as “REEKSAVE™”, releases a mist of an odor-neutralizing vapor into the air, working sort of like a high-tech, industrial-grade spritz of Febreze. In this case, the vapor binds specifically with the fragrance compounds found in cannabis terpenes. Our platform consists of drones, which are aerial platforms from which to do dispense the vapor during the “flower budding cycle.” Moreover, the drones data collection function with mounted sensors such as cameras, LIDAR, and odor meters.
During this winter and next spring, we will be testing a gas electric hybrid drone with 200 pound load capacity (25 gallons) for hemp harvesting applications in August, 2020.