A federal agency is inquiring aboutthe death of a worker at Trulieve Cannabis in Holyoke in January and claims that she couldn’t breath after inhaling cannabis dust.
According to an initial inspection report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, a worker passed away at the facility after filling pre-roll joints and complaining that she was having trouble breathing. According to OSHA, the worker was packaging ground-up cannabis blossoms when she was harmed because of the dangers of ground cannabis dust.
The report does not reveal the identity of the deceased employee, but The Young Jurks, a Massachusetts podcast group, identified the deceased employee. According to her obituary, Lorna McMurray was a 27-year-old who had just started to work at the Holyoke plant.
According to the obituary, McMurrey died abruptly Friday in Baystate Medical Center, surrounded by her adoring family. She was born in Springfield, a 2013 graduate of Westfield High School, and had lived in West Springfield for most of her life. The obituary says that she recently started to work at Trulieve’s Grow Facility in Holyoke before tragedy struck. In a statement to MJBizDaily, Trulieve also verified that the deceased employee was Lorna McMurrey.
Laura Bruneau, McMurray’s mother, revealed in a Commonwealth Magazine article that she is contemplating suing the company for wrongful death. She stated that changes needed to be made to protect the workers. She affirmed that she doesn’t want to see another person go through a similar incident.
The OSHA Report
Without providing many specifics, the OSHA incident report mentions that McMurray could not breathe because of “marijuana kief (dust) around 11 p.m. on January 7, 2022.” Additionally, Trulieve was fined $35,219 by the federal labour authority for alleged “severe” infractions. “kief” describes the gooey powder that falls from cannabis buds.
According to OSHA, the business disregarded federal rules requiring firms to maintain documented hazard communication plans and safety data sheets on dangerous chemicals and offer training and adequate information on those substances.
An ex-Trulieve worker told The Young Jurks that Lorna McMurrey sadly died while handling kief in the company’s Holyoke, Massachusetts production facility. The ex-employee claims to have left the facility one month or so before she passed away due to the terrible management and corruption in the company.
Public records obtained from OSHA showed that the agency fined Trulieve $6,215 for refusing to make a list of dangerous chemicals in the facility, which included ground cannabis. Another fine of $14,502 for failing to create a safety data sheet for the substance and $14,502 for failing to educate staff members about handling dangerous chemicals, such as exposure prevention, signs of skin contact and inhalation risks, and the precondition for medical attention. Each infraction was classified as significant, and it had to stop by August 17, 2022.
In a response issued to MJBizDaily, Trulieve noted that; they won’t go into specifics about what happened on that day out of regard for the family’s privacy. OSHA, however, looked into the Holyoke site in great detail. There was PPE (personal protection equipment) on hand. OSHA examined the facility’s air quality, and all samples fell considerably below allowable limits. However, Trulieve has refuted OSHA’s findings that it was cited for violating communication guidelines.
OSHA stated that it concealed a section of the investigational file due to a valid exception while legal action was being taken. State officials are currently conducting at least one inquiry.
According to the Cannabis Control Commission, the Trulieve incident is being looked into as the agency confirms that their inquiry is still open and ongoing. The Commission sympathized with McMurrey’s family, stating that they will continue collaborating with public health officials to identify contributing factors. The Commission takes the safety and welfare of patients, consumers, and registered Agents seriously. According to state regulations, businesses are in charge of keeping their premises clean and reporting events involving public safety.
The office of the district attorney and the State Police for Hampden County were contacted for inquiries by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey. Requests for information regarding the case received no response from the State Police. According to a Holyoke police spokesperson, there is a record of an ambulance call to Trulieve on that particular day, but no other details were provided.
According to Jim Leydon, a spokesman for the Hampden district attorney’s office, no criminal case involving McMurrey’s death is currently active. After getting a call about a medical emergency, Leydon claimed McMurrey passed away at Baystate Medical Center. Because there appeared to be no criminal involvement in the death, the Chief Medical Examiner’s office declined to accept jurisdiction.
Trulieve Cannabis Corp
Trulieve is a publicly traded cannabis corporation headquartered in Florida with various facilities all around the country. According to Commonwealth Magazine, the corporation earned $320.3 million in revenue and $182.2 million in profit in June 2022 from businesses across 11 states. The company operates recreational shops in Framingham and Worcester, including a recreational and medical shop in Northampton.
According to MassLive, Trulieve Cannabis Corp. purchased the buildings at 7 North Bridge St. and 56 Canal St. in June 2019. With plans to erect a 126,000 square foot cultivating, manufacturing, testing, and marketing facility, the 150-year-old mill building that was sold for $3.2 million had planned to be renovated.
Regulators have cited Trulieve in the past. OSHA imposed a $7,770 fine on the business’ Reading, Pennsylvania, location in March 2022 for failing to comply with a requirement that they notify OSHA when an employee undergoes hospitalization, an amputation, or loses an eye. A Trulieve business in Quincy, Florida, was fined $6,000 by OSHA in 2019 for seven violations, six of which included respiratory protection and one involved hazard communication. In Florida, there are three unresolved OSHA complaints from earlier in 2022. Commonwealth Magazine reports that the CCC has opened an inquiry into McMurray’s passing.
WHAT IS KIEF, ANYWAY…