Massachusetts Trulieve Facility Was Investigated Prior to Employee Death Following Complaints

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission was in the process of investigating the Trulieve facility where an employee died in January for previous employee complaints.

Full story after the jump.

A Trulieve facility in Massachusetts where an employee died in January after allegedly inhaling “cannabis dust” was under investigation prior to the death, Marijuana Business Daily reports. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) began investigating the facility owned by Florida-based Trulieve in the fall of 2021 after employee complaints. 

However, CCC Chair Shannon O’Brien and Commissioner Bruce Stebbins say they were not aware of the death of 27-year-old Lorna McMurrey until hearing it on the Young Jurks podcast, the report says.  

Trulieve said they reported the death to the CCC three days after the incident, on January 10. A spokesperson for the CCC said the agency staff did not tell the five commissioners about the death at the time, explaining it is a “customary” practice designed to keep investigations independent until commissioners vote on accepting a probe’s conclusions or to issue sanctions, the report says.    

Originally, The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) found the employee died of “occupational asthma due to exposure to ground cannabis” while grinding and filling pre-rolls. However, the OSHA report no longer cites a cause of death and the agency says the investigation remains open. It has declined to comment on the change. OSHA issued Trulieve a $35,000 fine, which they have appealed. 

McMurrey’s stepfather said she had asked him to bring her respirators from his job as a mechanic as the “air (at her job) was full of dust.” A former supervisor at the site said paper masks were provided to employees, but many were afraid to speak up about working conditions, the report says. Personal protection equipment was available onsite 

“They (OSHA) tested the air quality throughout the facility and the samples were all well below acceptable ranges,” Trulieve said in an October 3 statement to Marijuana Business Daily. 

Hampden County District Attorney said the case is not being criminally investigated.

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