After Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana last year, city officials found themselves with a stinky problem. Literally! As industrial-scale growing of marijuana ramps up, people in some parts of Denver started complaining of the odor of marijuana in the air.
So, when you smell pot, who ya gonna call? The Nasal Ranger, that's who!
Meet Ben Siller, an investigator with the Denver Department of Environmental Health, who uses the Nasal Ranger, a tool designed to gauge the intensity of odors. Marshall Zelinger of ABC 7 News reports:
It looks silly, but don't laugh: excessive odors can land the marijuana grower thousands of dollars in fines.
Marc Lallanilla of LiveScience tells us how it works:
Looking like a narrow bullhorn, the Nasal Ranger — sometimes called a "nose telescope" for its ability to suss out odors — works by pressing the narrow end up to the user's nose. The interior is coated with Teflon to resist residual odor buildup. When the user inhales, air enters the device through carbon filters at increasing degrees when a dial is turned up at the wide end.
When the user detects a stench, the numerical reading on the dial is noted. In Denver, a violation occurs when the offending odor is at a 7:1 ratio, i.e., when one unit of odor is detectable per every seven units of air in the Nasal Ranger.
The Nasal Ranger has been used to investigate odor complaints against landfills, manufacturing plants and oil refineries.