Olivette Residents Raise a Stink Over Permit for Medical Cannabis Facilty

click to enlarge Olivette resident Liangwu Xu held this sign outside Olivette City Hall before a city council meeting Tuesday. - MONICA OBRADOVIC
Monica Obradovic
Olivette resident Liangwu Xu held this sign outside Olivette City Hall before a city council meeting Tuesday.

Dozens of residents raised a stink at an Olivette City Council meeting Tuesday night over a special-use permit being considered for a medical-marijuana cultivation and product manufacturing facility. They worry the facility, owned by Proper Cannabis, would bring an unpleasant “skunk” odor to the neighborhood.

“It’s a fairly quiet community, we enjoy time outside,” Christina Hansen, an Olivette resident since 2007. “But if we have a strong skunk-like smell, then we’re not going to be able to do that.”

Opposition from residents grew so strong yesterday that Olivette City Council voted unanimously to continue discussion on the facility’s special-use permit at a later date.

“I was prepared to keep moving forward with this, but after listening to the passion today, it’s given me pause,” council member Sidney Clark says.

Nearly 40 residents spoke in opposition to Proper Cannabis' medical marijuana facility. Meeting attendees — some Olivette residents, some not — filled two rooms at Olivette City Hall. For hours, residents passionately relayed their concerns, which ranged from public health to decreasing property values. One speaker took a raw red onion out of a sandwich bag during an impassioned speech about strong odors.

click to enlarge An Olivette resident protests a permit for a medical marijuana cultivation and production facility outside Olivette City Hall on Tuesday. - MONICA OBRADOVIC
Monica Obradovic
An Olivette resident protests a permit for a medical marijuana cultivation and production facility outside Olivette City Hall on Tuesday.

Many in attendance requested Olivette City Council members to postpone a vote so more research could be done. Others asked for a complete strike down.

"There's so much open space in Missouri," one resident said to city officials. "Why we got to plop this into a residential area?"

Proper Cannabis' facility at 1220 N. Price Road measures 132,000 square feet on a 6-acre site. It abuts a car-repair and painting business, a painting contractor, and a sheet-metal production facility. Several homes lie directly east.

Proper Cannabis prepared an odor-mitigation plan to address any harsh scents the facility could bring. In the plan, the company committed to maintain a phone line for citizens to report odors. Such reports would then be given to city officials on a quarterly basis to review any needed fixes.

Still, some residents remained skeptical any effective odor mitigation would be done.

“I’m not thrilled about it," Rebecca Rubin-Schlansky tells the RFT. “It’s a very bare-bones, basic, bare-minimum plan.”

After hours of listening to residents’ input, council member Missy Waldman made a motion to continue discussion at a later date.

“I hope that you know we’ve been doing our homework,” Waldman told the crowd. Olivette City Council will discuss this matter again at its next meeting on May 24.

About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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