CARPINTERIA, Calif. - A new air purification system is being used in Carpinteria to clean the cannabis odor coming out of the Autumn Brands Farm.
The farm is located on Foothill Road, in an area where numerous growers are operating.
The skunk-like odor from the stretch of similar farms, sometimes more pronounced in one area than another, has been controversial.
Numerous complaints have come in to county officials and lengthy hearings have been held about operational problems and community air quality.
The Molekule Air Pro RX system has been designed to remove the volatile organic chemicals (VOC) from the air. Seven units are on the property in addition to a carbon filter system. Both are in use, but the primary system to remove the odor smell is the Molekule.
The units are in the trimming rooms, office and warehouse areas.
Autumn Brands says workers have an improved environment.
The owners say having a filter system for the air is part of the permitting process in Santa Barbara County.
Molekule is also used in hospitals to remove viruses, bacteria and mold, and that benefit will help on the property too.
Autumn Brands says it has already implemented COVID-19 safety measures that surpasses industry standards.
Autumn Brands first tested the system in late last year and early in 2020.
In a released statement the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Molekule, Dilip Goswami said, “Over the past two-plus decades, we’ve looked at a myriad of ways PECO technology can be effective in aiding with air pollution. As we expand our enterprise offerings, we’re pleased to be working with leaders in the cannabis space to not only offer the industry new innovation, but to help make the manufacturing process of cannabis better, and provide benefit to the community."
The Molekule Air Pro RX units have been installed on the property in key locations including in the drying, trimming and packaging rooms,
and other high traffic areas. Two Molekule Air units are also in the office area.
"Once we put these units in, within a matter of days we noticed the difference," said Johnny Brand with Autumn Brands farm. The results were convincing. They also did air quality tests to validate the process.
They searched for and tested the Molekule units. "They have adjusted their filters to capture more of the cannabis terpenes and they have adjusted to destroy more of the mold and funguses we have here on our farm," he said.
From the outside and inside, they hope to show a difference in the air quality.
"It used to be when you are around the perimeter you don't smell it but when you come into the building it's like, 'Oh there it is, it's a cannabis farm.' Now we walked in today, did it hit you in the face? No." said
Hanna Brand .
The smell was less pungent.
Cannabis odors have been one of the most polarizing issues in the Carpinteria Valley and the government has been requiring the growers to have a workable filtration system as part of their permitting process.
"There are strict requirements on having the best odor control technology and proving it. We can't say that we are doing something we have to prove, we are doing something and how it is working," said Autumn Brand.
The Molekule company also has smaller home air purifiers for local residents at a discount, by using the Autumn Brands code.
Clearing the air is still a work in progress. With so many farms in the Carpinteria Valley, different systems are still being designed and improved.
"We haven't seen one technology that can take care of every single odor that is generated on a property especially large properties," said Johnny Brand.
Hanna Brand says she wants enforcement on farms that are not complying with odor reduction and other permit issues.
"It is important that the government goes in and gives them citations. You want everyone doing it to the best of their ability.All of us in especially CARP growers are working together. I know that Molekule is producing more units and more farms are going to get on board."