Consider it a sign that the cannabis industry is starting to come of age: For the first time ever, the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety has taken a deep look at potential worker hazards at an outdoor cannabis farm.
Officials from the agency, who visited local Vancouver, Washington, medical grower Tom Lauerman twice in 2015, came out with their report “Evaluation of Potential Hazards During Harvesting and Processing of Cannabis at an Outdoor Organic Farm” this April. The report found that outdoor cannabis workers are likely to be exposed to ergonomic problems and repetitive stress injuries, especially during trimming. It also found high levels of THC buildup on surfaces around the harvesting and trimming work areas.
“We did two site visits, and the first was our first foray into the cannabis industry, so none of us were familiar with the processes or how they worked,” said lead author