The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says a worker at a Trulieve Holdings LLC facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Lorna McMurrey, died from inhaling “ground cannabis dust,” commonly referred to as kief.
McMurrey was 27 years old.
“Filling pre-rolls She (sic) said she couldn’t breathe. Not being able to breathe Marijuana kief (dust) At 11:00 p.m. on January 7, 2022, an employee was grinding cannabis flowers, and packaging ground cannabis in pre-rolls. The employee could not breathe and was killed, due to the hazards of ground cannabis dust.” — OSHA in a report
The facility is a non-union shop. Few other details are included in the report. In June, OSHA issued Trulieve three fines totaling $35,219 for alleged violations related to the death. Trulieve has contested those violations, according to OSHA records. The penalties are categorized as “serious” by the agency.
McMurrey’s death was first reported by The Young Jurks podcast.
Her obituary notes that she had “recently started working at Trulieve’s Grow Facility in Holyoke” but does not offer any further details.
There is no exposure limit in place per OSHA for exposure to “ground cannabis dust.”
Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia told The Shoestring that it was the first time he had heard about the death at Trulieve’s facility. He said he was “very shocked” to hear the news but provided no further comment.
Holyoke has become a destination for cannabis companies as the city’s municipal dam and canal system can provide low electric rates.
Trulieve has been cited at least twice before by OSHA for workplace accidents. In 2019, the agency cited the company for violating respiratory protection and hazard communication regulations at its grow facility in Quincy, Florida. In March, the company settled an OSHA case in Reading, Pennsylvania, where it was cited for violating a regulation requiring companies to report an employee’s in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
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