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Workplace Safety in the Cannabis Industry - Humboldt State Now

Workplace Safety in the Cannabis Industry

As Jan. 1 legalization of cannabis nears, many questions remain about the future of California’s recreational cannabis industry. As part of ongoing research into the industry, The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR) has invited a prominent occupational health researcher to speak at HSU on November 30, 2017.

Marc Schenker, Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been studying the working conditions for cannabis employees, and will share what his research has revealed.

He will discuss the state of knowledge about health hazards found in outdoor and indoor cannabis facilities.

Schenker argues there is an urgent need for health and safety guidelines for workers as legalization approaches and the industry grows. Cannabis is the most valuable agricultural commodity in California and it’s estimated there are over 100,000 workers in the industry. Evidence from other states suggests major health risks include respiratory, chemical and musculo-skeletal exposures, along with fire, explosion and electrical hazards.

HIIMR co-Director and Sociology Professor Josh Meisel says Schenker’s presentation is just the beginning of what he hopes will be continued collaborative study of the cannabis industry with UC Davis. “We are excited about identifying how HIIMR can partner with UC Davis in examining worker health and well-being in this evolving industry.”

Schenker will speak on November 30, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. in the Goodwin Forum, Nelson Hall East 102.

About Schenker:

Marc Schenker is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He has over 30 years of experience in medicine and public health research, teaching and public service. Schenker is the founding director of the Davis Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and the Migration and Health Research Center. His specialty is occupational and environmental disease, with a focus on respiratory and reproductive health. He also conducts epidemiologic research and public policy advocacy on the health of global migrant populations with a particular focus on farmworkers and occupational disease. He has published over 200 scientific manuscripts and six textbooks and has received numerous awards for his work.

About HIIMR:

Formed in 2012, The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research is the first academic research institute devoted to cannabis research. It is a research and analysis organization created to fill various information gaps about marijuana issues.

The Institute is a local, regional, state and national resource. It conducts, analyzes and disseminates research and provides expertise to policy makers, health care and medical professionals, businesses and the media, among others. An information clearinghouse, the Institute promotes rigorous and scholarly scientific study of marijuana issues.

The Institute’s purpose is analysis, not advocacy. It takes no position, for example, on legalization or decriminalization. Likewise, it offers no classes or training programs. Humboldt State University is a logical home for the Institute because of its interdisciplinary expertise in the environment and natural resources. The marijuana industry has a major impact in these areas, as well as on the region’s economy and social fabric. As laws about and perceptions of marijuana issues evolve, the Institute will share information, contribute research to public policy debates and help broaden community and national understanding.

For more information, visit HIIMR’s website.