A Massachusetts podcast that covers the state's cannabis industry and politics recently raised questions about a Jan. 2022 death of 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.
Lorna L. McMurrey, 27, complained that she couldn't breathe because of the cannabis kief dust in the room. She was taken to a local hospital where she died soon afterward.
Trulieve confirmed her identity in a statement to MJBizDaily.
The content of the OSHA report can be changed, as it is the only official document in the case that has said it is still open. The Accidental Investigation Summary does not provide much information, except for the following:
She said she couldn't breathe after filling pre-rolls. An employee was grinding cannabis flowers and packaging ground cannabis in pre-rolls and not being able to breathe Marijuana kief dust at 11: 00 p.m. on January 7, 2022. The employee was killed due to the dangers of ground cannabis dust. Details about whether the OSHA investigator relied on medical files or talked to McMurrey's family have not yet been revealed.
The report states that McMurrey was inhaling kief or dust, which is a powder consisting of trichomes released by cannabis buds into the air. No smoke or vapor appears to be involved, although inhalation of fine particulates is known to be extremely dangerous for the lungs at other workplaces. It is 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.
The penalties against Trulieve are not the first issued by the OSHA over alleged regulatory violations at its cultivation facilities, according to TheShoeString. In March of this year, Trulieve settled an OSHA case in Pennsylvania, where it was accused of violating a regulation that required businesses to report in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye in the case of employees and workers.
Two years ago, OSHA cited the company for violating respiratory protection and hazard communication regulations at its cultivation facility in Quincy, Florida.
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