Federal OSHA Officials Host Event on Marijuana Industry Worker Protections as More States Legalize


Even as marijuana remains federally illegal, two representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are set to present at a webinar next month about the federal agency’s latest guidance and enforcement priorities for “protecting workers within the cannabis industry” in the growing number of state-legal markets.


The cannabis industry has seen rapid expansion in recent years, with more states legalizing its use for medical and recreational purposes. However, this growth has raised concerns about worker safety within the industry. OSHA’s upcoming event aims to address these concerns and provide insights into protecting workers in this unique sector.


Occupational Allergies and Hazards

Research has shown that workers within the cannabis industry are at risk for developing occupational allergies due to allergens or biotoxins from cannabis plants. These workers may also become exposed to additional biological, chemical, and physical workplace hazards associated with producing cannabis. In 2022, a 27-year-old marijuana-industry worker in Massachusetts tragically died after collapsing during a shift at a processing facility. The state’s Department of Public Health subsequently issued a bulletin warning of asthma among cannabis employees.

OSHA’s Role and Challenges

Although the cannabis industry is relatively new, OSHA has no specific standards for occupational allergies related to cannabis plants. However, existing OSHA standards can help reduce or prevent these allergies and protect workers from other hazards they may face within this industry. OSHA’s representatives, Yasmine Daniels (an OSHA industrial hygienist) and Virginia Weaver (a doctor and OSHA medical officer), will discuss enforcement and compliance resources during the one-hour webinar.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, ensuring worker safety remains a priority. OSHA’s efforts to address the unique challenges posed by this industry are crucial for protecting workers and promoting safe practices.

By Oliver Davies

Oliver Davies is a dedicated marijuana and drugs news writer at CBD Strains Only. With a background in journalism and a passion for staying informed about the latest developments in the marijuana industry, Oliver's articles provide valuable insights and analysis. Through his expert reporting, Oliver aims to keep readers up-to-date on the ever-evolving landscape of marijuana and drug-related news.

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