Cannabis Employee Dies From Inhaling Cannabis Dust At Trulieve Facility, OSHA Report

Cannabis Employee Dies From Inhaling Cannabis Dust At Trulieve Facility, OSHA Report

The Young Jurks, a Massachusetts podcast that covers the state’s cannabis industry and politics recently raised questions about a cannabis worker’s Jan. 2022 death at a Trulieve TCNNF productions facility in Holyoke where she was grinding and packaging cannabis into prerolls.

A new report, filed by officials with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is shedding more light on what happened that night.

At around 11 p.m. Lorna L. McMurrey, 27, reportedly complained she couldn’t breathe because of cannabis kief (cannabis dust) in the room. She was taken to a local hospital where she, unfortunately, died quickly afterward.

Trulieve confirmed her identity in a statement to MJBizDaily.

So far, the OSHA report is the only official document in the case which has said it is still open, meaning the content can be changed. The Accidental Investigation Summary at this point does not provide much information, except the following:

“Filling pre-rolls She said she couldn’t breathe. Not being able to breathe Marijuana kief (dust) At 11:00 p.m. on January 7, 2022, an employee was grinding cannabis flowers, and packaging ground cannabis in pre-rolls. The employee could not breathe and was killed, due to the hazards of ground cannabis dust.”

Details around whether the OSHA investigator relied on medical files or talked to McMurrey’s family have not yet been disclosed.

It is worth noting that, the report clearly states that McMurrey was inhaling kief or dust, which is a powder consisting of trichomes released into the air by cannabis buds. No smoke or vapor seems to be involved although inhalation of fine particulates at other workplaces as well is known to be extremely dangerous for the lungs. It is also not known if McMurrey was wearing a protective mask.

According to the report, Trulieve committed three “serious” violations assessed by OSHA for which it paid fines totaling $35,219.

Previous Violations

It seems that the penalties against Trulieve are not the first issued by OSHA over alleged regulatory violations at its cultivation facilities writes TheShoeString. In March of this year, Trulieve settled an OSHA case in Pennsylvania, where it was accused of violating a regulation demanding businesses to report involving in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye in the case of employees and workers.

Furthermore, some two years ago, OSHA cited the company for violating respiratory protection and hazard communication regulations at its cultivation facility in Quincy, Florida.

Price Action

Trulieve shares closed Monday market session 2.12% higher at $8.68 per share.

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Photo: Courtesy of CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

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