matt markovich

Washington: Feds Spend Week On Farmer Tom's Cannabis Farm Studying Working Conditions


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal researchers spent most of the week on a working medical marijuana farm in Vancouver, Washington, studying the working conditions and occupational hazards of cultivating and processing cannabis.

The study was the first of its kind because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, in the same class as heroin and LSD, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News.

A team of four researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) visited Tom Lauerman's medical marijuana farm east of Vancouver to observe and take notes that could be used to develop federal "best practice" standards for workers in the cannabis industry. The team had never set foot on a legal marijuana operation until now; their previous cannabis experience had been limited to the federal pot farm at the University of Mississippi.

"This is novel for us," said the lead NIOSH researcher, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Researchers gave Farmer Tom and several of his workers electronic air sniffers to study the air quality inside the greenhouses and the processing facility. The researchers also used a glove with sensors tied to a laptop that tracked the repetitive hand movements involved in trimming marijuana.

Washington: Exploding Bottles of Marijuana Soda Removed From Shops


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Legal Pomegranate marijuana-infused soda has more bang for the buck than its manufacturers and distributors realized. The drink has been removed from three Washington marijuana stores after bottles started exploding on the shelves.

Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham took delivery of 330 bottles of the soda on September 28; employees said they were excited to promote it to their customers, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News. They sold 10 bottles of the soda, made by Mirth Provisions of Longview, on the first day.

But when employees opened up the following day, they found broken bottles and shards of glass throughout the store. During the night, the bottles had begun to explode. The employees said they didn't realize just how dangerous was the situation until they saw and heard bottles randomly blow up.

"It sounded like a shotgun going off," said Top Shelf Cannabis manager Zach Henifin. "You can actually feel it; it was that explosive."

Henifin donned a face shield and protective garb and placed cartons of the unexploded soda in a dumpster-sized steel box outside the store. The "pot pop" continued to explode, inside the steel container, for the next 10 days.

"It's almost like a bomb box because they randomly go off during the day," Henifin said.

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