A preliminary inspection report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that Trulieve Cannabis (CSE: TRUL) contested the fines levied on it. The penalties are being imposed after one of the firm’s employees died from inhaling ground cannabis dust.
Lorna L. McMurrey, a 27-year old employee at the firm’s Holyoke, Massachusetts facility, passed away earlier this year. The OSHA report stated–while unnamed–that the worker “was grinding cannabis flowers, and packaging ground cannabis in pre-rolls” at 11pm on January 7, 2022.
“The employee could not breathe and was killed, due to the hazards of ground cannabis dust,” the report stated.
In connection with the employee’s death, OSHA imposed fines totaling more than US$35,200 on Trulieve in June. OSHA labeled the three infractions as “serious,” stating that Trulieve violated federal requirements requiring organizations to maintain a written hazard communication plan, store safety data sheets on hazardous chemicals, and give information and training on those substances.
Close to a month after, Trulieve contested the fines. The case remains open.
The business stated that it thoroughly investigated the Holyoke facility. Personal protective equipment was claimed to be available on-site, and the air quality was tested throughout the plant and determined to be adequate.
“We cherish and value all of the 9,000 employees who make Trulieve a family and the safety of our team members is paramount to our core values,” the company’s statement read.
Trulieve also released a statement on Monday evening regarding McMurrey’s death: “Our hearts go out to Ms. McMurrey’s family, friends, and colleagues as the circumstances around her passing have recently resurfaced, resulting in their having to re-experience their loss.”
The company added that it will not be providing any details as to the specifics of that day “out of respect for the family’s privacy.”
Laura Bruneau, McMurrey’s mother, has stated that she is considering filing a wrongful death suit against the corporation.
“Things have to change for the protection of the employees,” Laura Bruneau said. “I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else.”
Trulieve is a Florida-based multi-state, multi-million-dollar cannabis corporation. It reported US$320.3 million in sales and a US$182.2 million profit from operations in 11 states in Q2 2022. Trulieve operates a medicinal and recreational shop in Northampton, as well as recreational retail outlets in Worcester and Framingham, with cannabis grown at the Holyoke facility.
The Holyoke facility is housed in an old mill building and has a cultivation area of 70,000 to 80,000 square feet. Innovative Industrial Properties owns the facility, which Trulieve rents under a sale-leaseback agreement.
The cannabis firm recently announced that its subsidiary in the state of Georgia has secured a Class 1 cannabis production license, targeting putting up five dispensaries in the state.
Trulieve Cannabis last traded at $11.94 on the CSE.
Information for this briefing was found via High Times, CommonWealth, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.