In mid-February, researchers at Colorado State University and the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health, published “Work and Well-Being in the Colorado Cannabis Industry.”
By conducting an online survey of 214 workers in Colorado’s cannabis industry in 2015, the study was able to examine work-related health, stress and well-being, as well as health and safety training issues.
“The general purpose of the research was to get a general sense of who is working in the industry and the issues they’re facing,” said Dr. Gwenith Fisher, the study’s co-author and program director of CSU’s Occupational Health Psychology program, to Denverite.
According to the study, 23% of Colorado’s cannabis workers hadn’t received health and safety training from their employers, while another 23% had received sparse or one-time training. Only 15% of those surveyed said that they had received structured and/or elaborate training on a continual basis.
“These results show an alarming variability in both the quantity and the quality of training that workers have received,” the study noted.
In addition to taking advantage of the “Guide to Worker Safety and Health in the Marijuana Industry,” the guide recently issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the study recommends that cannabis businesses offer formal health and safety training programs on an ongoing basis, as well as educating and training workers on cannabis-specific hazards, such as safe handling of pesticides and proper respiratory protection, among others.
With the survey finding that the majority of Colorado’s cannabis industry workers are caucasian males, the study also recommends that the industry take steps to employ a more diverse workforce.