Online cannabis platform Leafly recently removed two in-depth articles investigating the death of cannabis worker Lorna McMurrey, 27, who passed away after collapsing during her shift at a Trulieve cannabis factory in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Mike Crawford, the host of The Young Jurks podcast in Massachusetts, which broke the news of McMurrey’s death, first posted about the articles’ removal last week on LinkedIn.
Leafly, which closed down its newsroom in March after reporting financial difficulties, offered no explanation for why the stories were pulled, according to a WeedWeek report investigating the missing articles.
Part 1 and Part 2 of Leafly’s removed investigative series can still be accessed via the Internet Wayback Machine. Written by Dave Howard, the articles focus on the cause of McMurrey’s death — the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) originally concluded that McMurrey had died from inhaling “ground cannabis dust” but months later called it the result of a deadly asthma attack — and whether the tragedy had revealed unrecognized worker safety concerns in the cannabis industry.
Howard told WeedWeek that he didn’t know why the articles were removed:
“I worked hard on that series, as did my editor, and we felt it had the potential to help people in the industry. Anytime you have the chance to help someone avoid health problems, you take it.” — Howard, via WeedWeek
Trulieve, a Florida-based multi-state cannabis operator, paid a $14,502 settlement to OSHA in January over the incident and agreed to investigate the potential dangers of ground cannabis dust. Meanwhile, the company recently announced its departure from the Massachusetts state market.
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