Jo Ann Hurtado |

Years before the recreational use of cannabis was legalized in California, Cal/OSHA, the Department of Food and Agriculture, the State Department of Public Health and district attorneys across the state spent years trying to determine how to regulate this burgeoning industry. After several years and many meetings with the medicinal cannabis community, Cal/OSHA was able to codify Cal/OSHA 30-HR General Industry training as a mandatory component of licensing / relicensing requirements under the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

This marks the first time that Cal/OSHA has been able to make this normally voluntary training program mandatory for a specific industry. AB-2799 Adult-use cannabis and medicinal cannabis: license application: OSHA training requires cannabis license holders to demonstrate that a minimum of 2 workers have completed Cal/OSHA 30-HR General Industry training. Per Cal/OSHA’s commitment to effective communication between management and labor, this new requirement stipulates that 1 management and 1 labor employee attend and complete a level of training that is typically a starting point for safety professionals, supervisors and managers.

The OSHA Training Institute Education Center is now offering a customized Cal/OSHA 30-HR General Industry course that covers not only the most important safety elements, such as fire safety, emergency procedures, electrical safety and PPE, but also provides cannabis businesses with a deeper dive into significant OSHA compliance requirements included in the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), Hazard Communication (chemical safety) , LOTO (Lockout/Tagout/Blockout) and Forklift Safety (Powered Industrial Trucks) programs.

As we developed this very customized approach, we consider the 5 primary aspects of the cannabis industry: agriculture (both indoor and outdoor grows); processing (the manufacturing component that includes making edibles); laboratory services, inclusive of both cannabis extraction and laboratory testing; distribution (warehousing); and retail sales, which now includes both dispensaries and lounges, as well as delivery.

The distance learning format has proven to be an effective method for delivering this comprehensive course to an audience that is somewhat new to both OSHA and Environmental Health & Safety compliance training. By extending the course over 2 weeks (8 days total), participants have ample opportunity to network with others in their community, and get their questions answered in real time, either by the instructor or through their new colleagues.

The module specific requirements for a compliant Cal/OSHA 30-HR course (per OSHA Outreach Training Program requirements) can be found on the OSHA Training Institute Education Center’s Outreach Trainer Resources webpage or by downloading 30-Hour General Industry Required Topics.

Upcoming OTC 114 Cal/OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Classes

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues in the cannabis industry – they’ll be glad you did.

Already an OSHA Outreach Trainer who would like to attend? We’d love to have you join us and engage the group with your insights and experience!

Jo Ann Hurtado is a proven EH&S leader and training professional with 25 years of experience designing, developing and implementing performance based EH&S programs and regulatory training systems in both corporate and academic environments. Jo Ann holds a BA in Environmental Management from UCSD, is a Certified Environmental Trainer (CET), Master Trainer, Certified Training Director and Certified Project Management Professional (cPMP) and has been an OSHA Training Institute Education Center instructor since 2013. Learn More