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Roshan Sebastian

published on

August 2023

Two decades ago, California became the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis. In 2021, the medical use of cannabis is legal in 36 US states, and 17 states allow adult (‘recreational’) use. This trend of rapid legalization of the cannabis industry, while encouraging industry growth, attracts more attention from federal regulatory bodies such as the United States (US) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Following a number of incidents and near misses, cannabis facilities have been increasingly frequented by OSHA, leading to a spike in citations and fines. A review of past OSHA citations reveals that the most common citations in the cannabis industry pertain to the employer’s lack of awareness about the hazardous nature of some operations and materials handled in the facility. This leads to an absence of a formal fire prevention plan, lack of proper hazardous chemical training, deficiency in proper documentation related to workplace injury, and limited evaluation of required personal protective equipment (PPE).

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