A California town is beginning to smell like weed, like, all the time, man

Illustration for article titled A California town is beginning to smell like weed, like, all the time, man
Photo: jessicahyde (Getty Images)

Carpinteria, California is a lovely coastal community, surrounded by mountains, the ocean, and farmland. Once upon a time, this little corner of the world helped fuel the cut flower industry in the U.S. Now, it’s all about the weed, baby, and apparently, it stinks.


The Associated Press reports that the rise of the marijuana industry in California means that pot has supplanted flowers as the go-to crop. Carpinteria is located in Santa Barbara County, a “haven for cannabis growers” that has received “the largest number of marijuana cultivation licenses in California since broad legalization.” Most of these licenses are for “mixed-light” facilities, which according to the AP, basically means greenhouses. They used to be filled with carnations, now they’re often filled with pot plants.

The result? A gnarly funk that drapes itself like a warm, sweaty blanket over Carpinteria. Residents are less than pleased, describing it as “a thick, skunk-like odor… [that] settles over the valley in the evenings and before dawn.” The piece goes on to describe the measures residents are taking to keep out that musty-ass smell currently eminating from the apartment down the hall:

To keep out the stench, they have tried stuffing pillows under doors, lighting incense and shutting windows, a reluctant choice since it also keeps out the cool ocean breezes that are part of the town’s allure.

“We don’t want a marijuana smell,” said Xave Saragosa, a 73-year-old retired sheriff’s deputy who was born and raised in the town and lives near a greenhouse that grows marijuana. “We want fresh air.”


In February, Santa Barbara County established rules that require growers to “submit odor abatement plans and designate a representative to handle complaints”; those rules will go into effect in some parts of the county later this year.

Sorry, Carpinteria. But hey, you’ve still got a great view!

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!


E=MC Hammered

Thought maybe it’d be this town: