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Marijuana Industry Employment Has ‘Positive Outcomes’ For Workers, Study Finds

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Employment in the cannabis industry is “associated with positive outcomes for workers and their organizations,” a new study concludes.

“Colorado cannabis workers were generally job secure and valued safety,” the study, published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine on Wednesday, concludes.

The researchers from Colorado State University and the University of Colorado surveyed 214 cannabis industry workers in jobs that “touch the plant,” finding that in general, “participants reported that safety was valued at their respective organizations.”

“Our results regarding health and safety were generally positive. Specifically, workers perceived relatively low stressors. They felt secure in their jobs and did not perceive their work roles as being ambiguous, conflicting, and/or overly burdensome. Additionally, workers perceived a relatively strong safety climate at work, with highest regard for the value that management places on safety. In other words, most workers felt that safety was valued by their organizations, supervisors, and coworkers.”

The findings weren’t all rosy, however, as survey participants reported “some occupational injuries and exposures” as well as “inconsistent training practices.” Twenty-six percent said they had never received health and safety training on the job.

While 66 percent of workers reported having “never experienced symptoms after handling pesticides,” some said they’d experienced skin irritation. Other said they dealt with work-related health problems such as back and knee pain, as well as air quality, ergonomic and respiratory issues.

“There is an imminent need to establish formal health and safety training to implement best practices,” the study’s authors wrote.

Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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