HIGHLY TOXIC CANNABIS IN MASS?
GLOBAL NEWS CENTRE
Contaminated flower may be getting patients and employees sick
Anne Hassel had high hopes for a new career when she applied for a job serving medical marijuana patients at New England Treatment Access (NETA), a registered medical dispensary (RMD) in Massachusetts. A licensed physical therapist, she believes in the efficacy of cannabis and says that she appreciated how NETA was presented “as having a new business paradigm, one of worker input and responsive management.”
That was then. Now, nearly a year after she quit working at NETA and filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claiming she was regularly exposed to mold via cannabis flower, Hassel mockingly says NETA stands for “Never Ethically Treating Anybody.”
“Mold was an issue at both [NETA’s] Franklin cultivation center and the Northampton dispensary,” Hassel wrote in her complaint to OSHA. The former budtender reported that she “observed powered mildew flower” while trimming cannabis in 2016 in Franklin but was instructed by a supervisor to “cut around it.” She also says that management dunked “marijuana flower into a hydrogen peroxide solution to treat the mold.”
In response to a request for comment, a NETA spokesperson wrote, “Our product is tested for mold, yeast, bacterial and other biological pathogens, by independent laboratories… No product is delivered to the dispensaries that has not passed state testing protocols.” Regarding hydrogen peroxide, the spokesperson offered information that was previously unavailable in the company’s response to regulators: “NETA has been open and public about our use. The [response to Hassel’s OSHA complaint] pertained to our Northampton RMD and would be misapplied when discussing our harvest practices.”