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Dead Skunk’ Stench From Marijuana Farms Outrages Californians – NY Times

Dead Skunk’ Stench From Marijuana Farms Outrages Californians – NY Times

CARPINTERIA, Calif. — They call it fresh skunk, the odor cloud or sometimes just the stink.

Mike Wondolowski often finds himself in the middle of it. He may be on the chaise longue on his patio, at his computer in the house, or tending to his orange and lemon trees in the garden when the powerful, nauseating stench descends on him.

Mr. Wondolowski lives a half-mile away from greenhouses that were originally built to grow daisies and chrysanthemums but now house thousands of marijuana plants, part of a booming — and pungent — business seeking to cash in on recreational cannabis, which has been legal in California since January.

“If someone is saying, ‘Is it really that bad?’ I’ll go find a bunch of skunks and every evening I’ll put them outside your window,” Mr. Wondolowski said. “It’s just brutal.”

When Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, there were debates about driving under the influence and keeping it away from children. But lawmakers did not anticipate the uproar that would be generated by the funk of millions of flowering cannabis plants.

As a result of the stench, residents in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, are suing to ban cannabis operations from their neighborhoods. Mendocino County, farther north, recently created zones banning cannabis cultivation — the sheriff’s deputy there says the stink is the No. 1 complaint.

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