City Council: marijuana odor considered a problem, council discusses options

WINSLOW, Ariz. — At the Oct. 10 council meeting, Winslow council members heard a report concerning complaints of strong odors coming from the Medicine Room marijuana facility in Winslow.

Community Development Director Paul Ferris said complaints had been received for several years.

“The first complaint of odors emitted from the facility were received by the community development department in early October of 2015,” he said.

Ferris said the complaints were received from individuals living around half a mile from the facility.

Former facility owners said they would install charcoal odor absorbing devices inside the greenhouse to reduce the venting of inside air.

Ferris said at that time he did not notice a strong odor, only a slight skunk smell.

The charcoal odor absorbing devices were installed in late 2016.

In February, Ferris and other city representatives toured the dispensary and confirmed the installation of the filtering devices.

Complaints of odors were received again starting in September.

Medicine Room owner Dixon Oates said they are doing everything they can to solve the problem.

“Medicine Room is doing everything (they) can ... to take care of the odor so that neighbors and neighboring property owners aren’t impacted by our presence in this town,” Oates said.

Oates said when the green house was proposed, former City Attorney Dale Patton had said the smell would not be a problem. Oates said he had built the facility at great expense and risk. A certificate of occupancy was issued for the greenhouse June 19, 2014 by the city. Marijuana cultivation began in 2014. Winslow City Manager Steve Pauken said he drives by the facility twice a day and said the odor is a problem that must be addressed now.

After the Call to the Public, the council voted to go into executive session for legal advice regarding the medical marijuana facility. Action on that issue was not expected to follow.

Other council news

A request to waive the building fee for The Station at the La Posada project was not passed.

An ordinance adding a Special Development Overlay Zoning on real property located at the northwest corner of East Third Street and Transcon Lane was postponed until the next council meeting.

Todd Roth, Christa Know, Cheri Russell and Roberta Cano spoke about plans for the Art Car project of the Arts Council and how it might work and benefit the community. Statements were made that the Arts Council and city staff will need to draft regulations on how the project will proceed in the future.

The council voted to cancel its second meeting in November and December.

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