Trulieve Cannabis Corp. today announced a voluntary agreement with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that will result in additional health and safety protections for Trulieve workers at its cannabis manufacturing facilities. Workers throughout the industry will benefit from the steps taken by this settlement.
In January, a worker at a Trulieve cannabis processing facility in Massachusetts died after inhaling kief, a powdery substance containing cannabis trichomes.
Under the agreement, Trulieve will undertake a study to determine whether ground cannabis dust is required to be classified as a "hazardous chemical" in the occupational setting, according to OSHA regulations. Work on the study is to be complete by May 29, 2023.
Pending the outcome of the study, Trulieve will design and implement a temporary information and training program that alerts employees to potential allergic reactions they might experience working with ground cannabis dust in an occupational setting. The program will include information about steps employees should take if they experience symptoms of allergies related to ground cannabis dust. Work on that program is already underway.
"We're pleased to have entered into this agreement with OSHA," said Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve. "We are proud of the many protections we have already put in place for our workers. However, as an industry leader in what is still a relatively new manufacturing business, we want to continue to establish best practices, so our workers can have the health and safety assurances they need."
In addition, Trulieve will evaluate a series of actions, including:
- Engaging a health professional to develop a program that gives workers guidance on how to manage potential health impacts resulting from potential reactions to ground cannabis dust.
- Making employees more aware of job transfer options, if available.
- Making permanent the temporary information and training program.
- Investigating options to better limit access and exposure to the areas where commercial grinding of cannabis occurs.
- Establishing policies that increase the presence of workers available who are trained in first aid.
As part of the agreement, the original $35,219 fine against Trulieve has been reduced to $14,502. Two of the "serious" items in the citation were withdrawn. The withdrawn items involved having a "safety data sheet" and providing training under OSHA's hazard communication standard.
The remaining citation, which identified the standard for listing "hazardous chemicals," was replaced with a citation about conducting a hazard analysis.
"Increased-scale manufacturing in our industry is a relatively new endeavor and we are determined to continually ask questions and seek answers to make our workplace the safest and healthiest it can possibly be," said Rivers. "We already have many protections in place, and we intend to continue our work with state and federal regulators to make sure workers are treated well. I want Trulieve to be a great place to work, and I will do everything possible to keep it that way."