A cannabis greenhouse in Santa Barbara County
Photo courtesy of Byers Manufacturing

The Santa Barbara County Cannabis Growers had a problem. Their greenhouses were stinking up the county, and residents and politicians were not happy. The greenhouse owners and operators were spending their days addressing complaints, rather than tending to their crops.

The non-official group is made up of five individual greenhouse grows, who preferred to remain anonymous. Each greenhouse is approximately 4 to 5 acres in size and employs roughly 40 people. None of them were able to eliminate their odor problems until Byers Scientific & Manufacturing came along.

Byers Scientific & Manufacturing is an industrial odor-management company that operates in the solid waste and agricultural odor space, including cannabis growing operations. All five greenhouses have partnered with Byers, implemented its waterless vapor-phase system and noticed immediate results.

“There are days when I’m outside the greenhouse and I can’t smell a thing,” says one grower. “It worked so well that we had people in our community asking if all of us had stopped growing because they could no longer smell anything.”

The waterless vapor-phase system is an automated system that connects to pipes suspended on the outside of the greenhouse, completely encircling it. The pipes are ported with small holes engineered to provide a consistent pressure and delivery of odor neutralizing vapor throughout the entire run of pipe.

Every Byers system includes detailed instructions for the piping installation. Additionally, Byers assumes responsibility for hole drilling and system commissioning.

“The Byers system is really clean and quiet," the grower says.

Each Byers system is custom-designed and engineered for a client’s specific purposes. Byers’ staff monitors the system’s operating parameters around the clock, and key grow personnel receive text messages indicating when a tank is low, or an air filter needs to be replaced.

Product reservoir tanks provide up to three weeks of uninterrupted operation before needing to be refilled.

The equipment itself is relatively inconspicuous, measuring about 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall, according to the grower. It also allows for easy adjustment when needed.

“Sometimes when it’s raining or it’s a really wet morning, the odor increases, and I can just dial up the amount of vapor being created, or I can text or call Byers staff and they can do the same remotely. It makes it really convenient and easy,” the grower says.

The Santa Barbara County Cannabis Growers have also credited the Byers system with increasing efficiency at their operations, resulting in greater profits.

“Because I don’t have to spend time worrying about our odor and dealing with complaints, I am able to produce a better crop. And with a higher-quality product, I can sell more and sustain my business,” says the grower.

He goes on to add that the odor-defense system will also be beneficial when the time comes to expand.

“If I have proved to my community that I have our odor problems under control, the whole [expansion] process will be easier and there will be less pushback,” the grower says. “I also know that I have a system in place that works and is easy to modify, so it’s one less headache to worry about.”

The residents of Santa Barbara appear pleased with the solution as well, according to the grower. “I wouldn’t say [the growers] are at zero complaints,” he says, “because there are still other grows here who don’t use anything, but we are pretty close.”