The Sun (Lowell)
Trulieve exiting Bay State pot biz
After the recreational marijuana market exploded in recent years across the Bay State, more pot shops will soon be shutting down around the region.
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. recently announced that the marijuana giant will be winding down its operations in Massachusetts. The company’s dispensaries in Worcester, Framingham, and Northampton will close at the end of June, and Trulieve expects that it will cease all operations in the state by the end of the year.
The cannabis behemoth made headlines last year when a worker who was packaging ground cannabis into pre-rolls at Trulieve’s cannabis processing facility in Holyoke suffered an asthma attack and later died in the hospital. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated, and the company later settled with OSHA.
Trulieve isn’t the first cannabis company to shut down pot shops in the state. Late last year, the Source became the first dispensary to close in Massachusetts. The store was located close to other pot shops in Northampton.
Now Trulieve will be taking another marijuana dispensary off the market in Northampton, along with stores in Worcester and Framingham.
The company said it’s looking to “preserve cash and improve financial performance.”
“These difficult but necessary measures are part of ongoing efforts to bolster business resilience and our commitment to cash preservation as we continue to focus on our business strategy of going deep in our core markets and jettisoning non-contributive assets,” CEO Kim Rivers said in a statement. “We remain fully confident in our strategic position and the long term prospects for the industry.”
In December, Trulieve had announced a settlement with OSHA that would lead to more health and safety protections for workers at its cannabis manufacturing facilities following the death of an employee.
As part of the agreement, the original $35,219 fine against Trulieve was reduced to $14,502. Under the agreement, Trulieve would study whether ground cannabis dust is required to be classified as a “hazardous chemical” in the occupational setting, according to OSHA regulations.
“Increased-scale manufacturing in our industry is a relatively new endeavor and we are determined to continually ask questions and seek answers to make our workplace the safest and healthiest it can possibly be,” Rivers said. “We already have many protections in place, and we intend to continue our work with state and federal regulators to make sure workers are treated well.”