Trulieve Cannabis Corp. said Thursday it has agreed to issue a study by May 29 on whether dust from ground cannabis that becomes airborne during processing is required to be classified as a hazardous chemical as part of a settlement with the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
The move comes after OSHA issued a $35,219 fine in June after the death of a worker at a Trulieve
facility in Holyoke, Mass. The OSHA inspection report said the employee, Lorna McMurrey, 27, complained she could not breathe, went to the hospital and died days later, according to reports.
As part of the agreement with OSHA, the fine against Trulieve has been reduced to $14,502.
“Workers throughout the industry will benefit from the steps taken by this settlement,” Trulieve said in a prepared statement.
Pending the outcome of its study, Trulieve said it will implement a temporary information and training program to make employees aware of potential allergic reactions to cannabis dust caused by exposure on the job.
Information about steps employees should take if they experience symptoms of allergies related to cannabis dust will be part of the effort.
Laura Bruneau, the mother of Lorna McMurrey, said in an interview with CommonWealth Magazine in October that she may file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Trulieve.
Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said increased-scale manufacturing in the cannabis industry is relatively new. “We want to continue to establish best practices, so our workers can have the health and safety assurances they need,” Rivers said in a statement.
Trulieve also agreed to weigh other actions, including hiring a health professional to guide workers in managing potential health effects of cannabis dust; making employees more aware of available job-transfer options; making its information and training program permanent; investigating options to better limit workers’ exposure to commercial grinding of cannabis; and increasing the number of workers trained in first aid.