Monday, March 27, 2023

Blunts: Trimmer Death Raises Concerns

Cannabis News


The death of a cannabis industry worker last year has raised concerns about job-related health dangers in the industry and the need for more awareness around the problem.

According to a Leafly investigation, Trulieve employee Lorna McMurrey died last January after complaining about having trouble breathing. McMurrey reportedly collapsed while working at a Holyoke, Massachusetts cannabis production facility where she made a living assembling pre-rolled joints.

Co-workers performed CPR on her before she was taken by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. She died later that night.

McMurrey reportedly died from a job hazard that is unknown in many corners of the cannabis industry: Dust produced from handling large amounts of dried cannabis. This dust permeates the air in enclosed processing rooms and can trigger asthma or other respiratory complications.

Officials from the federal Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined in their investigation the cause of her death was “occupational asthma due to exposure to ground cannabis.”

The news of the worker’s death was not made available to the public for at least eight months, despite OSHA being notified by the company.

FDA Releases Guidance for Researching Pot

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released its final guidance for developing drugs based on cannabis and hemp.

The guidance “provides the agency’s current thinking on several topics relevant to clinical research related to the development of drugs containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds,” according to a tweet from the agency.

The guidance recommends several considerations for researchers looking to study cannabis for the development of pharmaceuticals including the source of cannabis, quality considerations for developing human drugs and the calculation of THC percent to determine control status.

FDA pointed out that even if THC levels define a sourced plants as “hemp” instead of “marijuana,” intermediates or drug products derived from those sources that contain more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight are no longer considered legal.

Hemp farmers have complained that THC levels are hard to control due to various environmental factors. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently began sending out surveys to hemp farmers to examine the market.

DWI Prevention Advocates Highlight Cannabis

Last week Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) New Mexico hosted a DWI Prevention Awareness Day at the state capital. Some DWI prevention advocates say cannabis could be contributing to dangerous driving.

Lea County DWI Director Kelly Livingston told Los Alamos Daily Post that the legalization of adult-use cannabis may have made New Mexico roadways less safe. “Every year people needlessly die or are seriously injured on our county and state roads because someone made the choice to consume alcohol and/or drugs and then get behind the wheel,” Livingston said. “With the passage of cannabis in New Mexico, although it may be legal for recreational use, it is still unlawful to drive under the influence.”


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