Yo, peeps! Listen up, ’cause I got some serious news to drop on ya. Check it out: a tragic incident went down at a Green Thumb Industries’ (GTBIF) facility in Rock Island, Illinois. Julie Devinney, an employee in the cannabis industry, sadly passed away while on the job. It’s a real shocker, fam.
According to the police report obtained by WeedWeek, Julie had been dealing with breathing problems for a minute. She had to dip out of work early multiple times ’cause of it. But last Friday, things took a turn for the worse. Julie collapsed after doing some easy-peasy pre-shift exercises. Her coworker called 911, but even with CPR from her peeps at work, Julie couldn’t make it. She was pronounced dead right there on the scene. Damn.
But get this: this ain’t the first time emergency medical services had to come through at GTI’s Rock Island facility. In the past 18 months alone, there have been 13 instances where they had to call in the cavalry. That’s some serious shit, my friends.
Now, Julie’s supervisor spilled some details on her health situation. Turns out she had been diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and was having major trouble breathing. The fire department had to respond to her breathing issues like 3-4 times in the past year. Homegirl was going to the hospital left and right for that shit.
The deputy county coroner looked into Julie’s death and said it was all natural causes. But hold up, there’s more to this story than meets the eye.
The cannabis workers union Teamsters ain’t happy about this whole situation. They got some legit safety concerns, ya feel me? They’re pointing fingers at GTI for not keeping their employees safe and sound. And honestly, they might have a point.
Employees at GTI have been filing complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), talkin’ about major safety violations. Two of those complaints are currently under investigation. And this ain’t the first time GTI has been in trouble with OSHA. They’ve been cited for health and safety violations at other spots too. They need to get their shit together, fam.
But wait, there’s another case that’ll make you raise an eyebrow. Last year, a tragedy went down at a Trulieve facility. Lorna McMurrey, a 27-year-old worker, lost her life while on the job. OSHA did their thing and found out that Lorna had been having breathing problems ’cause of all that cannabis kief floating around in the air. She was rushed to the hospital, but sadly, she didn’t make it. It’s a real wake-up call, y’all.
Lorna’s fam and coworkers started speakin’ out about the situation, and they ain’t happy. Trulieve tried to say they provided protective gear for their employees, but Lorna’s former supervisor shut that shit down real quick. He said those masks were just for COVID protection, not for dealing with all that cannabis dust in the air. He straight up said, “They killed my friend.” That’s some heavy stuff right there.
It took almost two months, but Trulieve finally agreed to make some changes after talkin’ with OSHA. They’re gonna step up their health and safety game and figure out if ground cannabis dust should be considered a hazardous chemical. It’s about time they start takin’ this shit seriously.
Here’s the deal, though: there’s not enough info out there about the dangers of cannabis dust. Dr. Bill Martin, a medical director at Mediprise, wrote a report sayin’ that this stuff can mess up your lungs real bad. It can cause asthma and all sorts of respiratory problems. And with the cannabis industry growin’ so fast, it’s like they don’t have time to figure out the best safety practices. That’s not cool, my dudes.
So, what’s the bottom line? The cannabis industry needs to step up and make sure their workers are safe. We can’t be losin’ people like Julie Devinney and Lorna McMurrey just ’cause they were grindin’ and packagin’ that sticky icky. It’s time for some serious changes, fam. Let’s keep our peeps in the cannabis biz safe and sound, ya dig?
And that’s the realness, straight from yours truly, Dan. Stay safe out there, my friends. Peace!