Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) announced Thursday that it’s reached a deal with the federal government that will ramp up worker protections at its manufacturing facilities nationwide.
The agreement, struck with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), emerged following the death almost a year ago of employee Lorna McMurrey at a Trulieve manufacturing facility in Massachusetts. That event sparked an investigation by OSHA and resulted in three federal citations for workplace safety violations.
McMurrey apparently died after suffering a reaction to “ground cannabis dust,” according to an official OSHA report.
According to the Thursday news release, the new agreement requires Trulieve to:
- Finish a review by May 2023 as to whether “ground cannabis dust” should be categorized as a “hazardous chemical” for worker safety purposes.
- Implement a new safety and training program for workers.
- Hire new safety coordination staff.
- Make workers aware of employment transfer options.
- Look into more options for limiting worker exposure to cannabis grinding and dust.
- Increase the number of employees with first aid training.
An initial fine of $35,219 levied against Trulieve by OSHA also has been reduced to $14,502.
The deal also removes two of the three “serious” violations that OSHA previously cited the company for, and the one remaining citation was reduced in severity, according to the release.
Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said she was “pleased” by the deal with OSHA, aadding, “We are determined to continually ask questions and seek answers to make our workplace the safest and healthiest it can possibly be.”
The OSHA settlement doesn’t mean the McMurrey chapter in Trulieve’s history is yet closed.
Massachusetts attorney Joseph Franco, who represents McMurrey’s family, declined to comment on the OSHA settlement, but told Green Market Report that the family has not yet ruled out legal action against Trulieve.
“We’re still reviewing everything at this time,” Franco said.
Spokespeople for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, which also told reporters previously it was investigating Trulieve over alleged workplace safety issues, could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday. It’s unclear if that investigation is ongoing, but it reportedly began in 2021 and was live as of October.