CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The first cannabis cultivation businesses in Cathedral City opened about six months ago are and are having their first harvest. People can smell the plants from more than block away.
For the past couple weeks employees here at City Hall were having to deal with the pungent smell of cannabis. People who were at the Mary Pickford movie theater were smelling it too. The city believes the smell came from one particular cultivation site.
"When the customers show up they think that we smoke weed and it kind of throws us off and makes us look bad," said Steve T, an employee with Auto Creations. For months Steve has had a nose full of cannabis odor from his neighbors PS Patients Collective.
"It’s been pretty smelly. We work every day, so we kind of got used to it," Steve T said.
Someone called into Cathedral City code compliance to complain about the smell. That call was the first ever official cannabis odor complaint for the city since cultivation was legalized.
City officials said code compliance officers were already on the problem and gave a notice to the owners of PS Patients Collective to stop stinking up the neighborhood.
The cultivators have already submitted plans to add more filtration to their ventilation system, which have been approved by the city.
KESQ and CBS Local 2 reporter Joe Galli went to PS Patients Collective to talk to them but no one answered the door.
Harvest time is the smelliest time for cannabis cultivation sites. When buds mature, the odor of cannabis is at its most powerful and some businesses might need some upgrades.
"What we are finding is some need to install more carbon filters to neutralize the odor," said Chris Parman, communications and events manager for Cathedral City.
According to Parman, the money from taxing cannabis is going to help regulate the industry. The city was able to hire another person for code compliance to keep cannabis businesses in check.
If you are in Cathedral City and you’re smelling cannabis odor you can call City Hall at (760) 770-0340 with an approximate address of where you think the smell is coming from and code compliance will go and check it out.