Cannabis Grow Operations Compliance and Safety

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There seems to be a lack of information about how or what producers can do to protect workers in cannabis-specific environments.

Addressing the demands on industry, there is a growing number of workers being employed in the cannabis production chain, specifically in grow houses.

But in order to become an officially sanctioned licensed cannabis grower or producer by the federal government, one must first be subject to an application and formalized review based on a variety of factors, including security clearance checks, site zoning permits, floor plans and equipment and sanitation programs, just to name a few.

Does this review, however, sufficiently take production safety and worker health issues into consideration? Are grow operation owners recognizing the need to have better occupational health and safety protocols and programs to protect workers?

Kimberly Stuck is the founder of Colordo-based Allay Consulting LLC, which guides companies through the hazards of the budding cannabis industry [as well as Cannabis Grow Consulting ]. Stuck explains that most clients who come to her haven’t started to think about implementing safety measures, so her first step is to make sure they understand how important it is to get those measures in place.

“Just implementing safety measures for your employees is really important,” she advises. “If something happens to them, like they get injured or they have long-term health effects because of, just as an example, moulds and mildews in the air or because of pesticide application, there could be big repercussions for your company,” Stuck cautions.

Right now, many of the same principles associated with agricultural production apply, such as dehumidification, ventilation, irrigation and clean and secure environments to protect plants from pests or diseases. For those involved in the cannabis industry, taking a look at the provincial health and safety legislation and the National Farm Building Code of Canada (1995) is recommended to determine what employers need to do to ensure production runs safely and smoothly.

In some grow facilities, says Traviss Graham, vice-president of harvest production for Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc., temperatures could reach 20 to 35 C in certain areas, adding that some of these temperatures are clearly not suitable for everyone to work in. Conditions must be safe for workers so they can do their best work and continue to cultivate the best plants possible.



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