We reported on a story a couple weeks ago about the first marijuana employee dying from exposure to dust emanating from pre-rolls. Well that story, which occurred earlier this year but didn’t hit the press until this month, has inspired other workers to come forward and further press these factories to improve conditions.
Trulieve put out a statement that OSHA approved the air quality levels in the facility and that masks were readily available. However, an employee has told the Young Jurks Podcast that the PPE was meant for Covid-19, not for the micro-dust created the machines.
Another employee that the cannabis grinder that the deceased employee was using would frequently run without an air filter in order to save time. Also, the security was short-staffed, making the paramedics response time longer.
OSHA is still investigating the situation at the facility in which Lorna McMurrey was working.
Many whistleblowers are concerned for the security of their jobs if they come out publicly against safety. Most facilities are heavily surveilled, and finding out who spoke out would be a simple task for these companies.
A writer at Worcester Magazine spoke to some workers anonymously, and it seems clear that the issues are more widespread than just one facility. Multiple workers stories are posted on an instagram account, Massachusetts_Mids, that shows examples of poor procedure and pretty contaminated flower coming from Cannabis Control Commissioin approved facilities.
A comment on the Worcester Magazine story on reddit from user Hanflander put the problem rather succinctly:
“I can’t imagine what these pre-roll folks go through compared to the mortar-and-pestle lab folks in terms of fine particulate matter exposure, but OSHA really doesn’t have much teeth as far as regulation in a federally illegal industry. Just like how the EPA can’t make any recommendations on pesticide testing for a unilaterally illegal substance, and how NIST can’t disseminate cannabis standard samples with more than 0.3% THC.
Until this is federally legal, all cannabis businesses are operating in what amounts to a Wild West framework. As apprehensive as I am about Uncle Same getting his hands in the mix, I also understand what happens in an industry where there are no regulations at all, and anytime someone suggests deregulation to favor business I always ask, ‘do you want to send children back into the mines?’”