A licensed smell investigator in Denver is using a device called a “Nasal Ranger” to sniff out marijuana. Ben Siller is using the device to help enforce an ordinance designed to protect the purity of the city’s air.
Although recreational marijuana use is now legal in Colorado, the Denver ordinance allows for possible fines when marijuana odors are very strong—exceeding a level of detection when one volume of scented air is combined with seven volumes of clean air, according to NPR. It has been almost 20 years since anyone has broken that threshold, Siller said. A violation of the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $2,000.
Siller, a member of Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, is receiving a growing number of complaints as the number of facilities used to cultivate marijuana increase. The Nasal Ranger is a cone-shaped device that looks like a megaphone. It samples the air to detect the presence and strength of odors.