Clearing the air


Innovative solutions for managing marijuana odors in hotels


As the debate surrounding marijuana legalization continues, the hotel industry faces the unique and increasing challenge of mitigating the effects of lingering cannabis odors. As more states across the county legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, hotels must plan proactively to ensure a pleasant environment for all guests. With recent advances in environmental scenting, it’s becoming easier and more affordable than ever to scent. The newest marijuana abatement scenting solutions now offer hotels innovative ways to maintain a fresh and inviting atmosphere. Finally, there are marijuana-abatement fragrances that are high-quality, affordable, organic, and hypoallergenic. This is a welcome solution for a growing problem in the hotel industry and an option that will ensure that your guests’ experience will continue to be pleasant and enjoyable.

To make an informed decision about potential solutions, it’s important to understand what causes the distinct odor of marijuana. The smell of marijuana is created by organic compounds found in the essential oils of plants – specifically the terpenes found in the cannabis plant. When these terpenes interact with other chemicals in the plant, they can produce an array of smells, including floral, fruity, skunky, earthy, and even diesel-like aromas. One organic sulfur compound, prenylthiol (3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol), is responsible for much of the distinctive marijuana odor. As marijuana is grown and cured, all the elements combine to make a strong odor that can be even more pungent when vaporized or smoked. An effective solution would be to not just neutralize or mask the smell, but to actually change it into something desirable.

Hotels pride themselves on providing exceptional guest experiences and don’t want the presence of marijuana odors to negatively affect their brand. Marijuana has a very specific odor, and this smell can seep through walls and windows, making it difficult for those nearby to avoid. Marijuana’s potent odor also lingers in the air for a long time and the smell clings easily to fabric surfaces such as upholstery and curtains. Non-smoking guests may find the smell of marijuana to be unpleasant and intrusive, which can lead to decreased repeat business and negative online customer reviews. Guests traveling with their families or for business, who form a significant percentage of hotel clientele, expect a clean, odor-free environment.

Until recently, it has been difficult to find marijuana odor abatement solutions that are cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient for individuals and businesses. One traditional large-scale solution is mechanical ventilation, which involves using fans and ducting to capture and exhaust odors. Another solution is air scrubbing, which requires devices with various filtration media to catch odors and particles circulating in the air. These approaches can be combined to provide more effective odor control; however, they can be labor intensive and costly.

Other scenting solutions such as essential oils and candles provide only temporary relief as they merely mask the odor, rather than neutralize – or even change – the smell. Additionally, essential oils aren’t safe for everyone as they contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), such as pollen, that commonly cause allergic reactions in people and pets.

For a product to be safely used in areas such as hotel lobbies and guest rooms, any fragrances used in public spaces without the public’s consent need to be pure grade – free of synthetic toxins and VOCs. This ensures that addressing malodors doesn’t pose any harmful effects for humans or animals in the space. With recent research and product development, there are now solutions that actually change the way they smell when they are exposed to marijuana odors. This is possible because the scent molecules combine, rather than just compete, with each other. The result is a natural marijuana-abatement solution, whose scent molecules are attracted to the radical sulfur atom and smell wonderful after combining with it.

Investing in marijuana abatement scenting solutions can yield substantial benefits for hotels. Research indicates that exposure to pleasant scents results in a 40% improvement in mood. By proactively addressing potential malodor issues, hotels can increase guest satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Additionally, online reviews and ratings are likely to improve, attracting more potential guests. Since people remember smells with 65% accuracy one year later, scenting promotes more positive guest memories and experiences leading to more return guest visits. Ultimately, the return on investment for these scenting solutions outweighs the costs involved.

Jim Reding serves as the CEO of Aroma Retail. He continues to develop custom signature scents for small businesses to hotels, resorts and NFL stadiums across the United States. Reding actively leads new product development and innovation for the organization.


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