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Colorado Has a New Guide for Worker Health & Safety in the Cannabis Industry

From fire and explosion to mold and fungus, here’s what industry employees need to know.

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In another step towards complete and total legitimacy, Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has highlighted employment in the marijuana industry, and released a 78-page handbook detailing the guiding principles for health and safety hazards in different cannabis workplaces.

“Slips, trips and falls are hazards common to every industry, but the marijuana industry has special considerations,” Roberta Smith, manager of CDPHE’s Occupational Health Program, said in a statement. “For example, fires and explosions can occur during production of marijuana extracts and lead to fatal injuries.”

Jobs in the cannabis industry range from those explosion-risking extraction jobs to classic retail budtending gigs, cultivating, trimming, and more. The OSH guide details best practices in everything from indoor air quality, pesticides, and extraction ventilation to workers rights, injury compensation, and illness reporting that cross all vocations.

The guide, the first of its kind in Colorado (it takes notes from a similar set of workplace standards released in Washington State) and was produced by the 40-person team that makes up the Colorado Marijuana Health and Occupational Safety Work Group, a group of workplace safety, public health and regulatory experts. On a federal level, the National Fire Protection Association includes a section of their fire code manual dedicated to marijuana grow operations and processing facilities.

Like every other legitimate profession, employees in the cannabis industry deserve fair workplace guidelines to help guarantee their safety. Colorado’s guide is just one more step on the road to making employment in the cannabis industry a less stigmatized vocation.