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1413 Occupational respiratory hazards in the emerging medicinal cannabis industry in australia
  1. Sue Reed1,
  2. Maggie Davidson2,
  3. Gary Dennis2,
  4. Martyn Cross1
  1. 1Edith Cowan University
  2. 2Western Sydney University


Introduction Recently there has been a rapid development of the international medicinal and recreational commercial cannabis industry. In Australia, the downgrading of Cannabis sativa L. to a Schedule 8 controlled substance, when prepared or packed for human therapeutic use, has heralded the introduction of a local medicinal cannabis industry. This paper will present the findings of a gap analysis which will be used for a later student of exposures.

Methods This project involved a critical review of current approaches to health and safety in the medicinal and recreational cannabis industry in Australia and abroad. The data analysis involved the review of literature related to cultivation and production from the farm through to final product sales, including the policies developed by partner organisations, law enforcement and regulatory agencies, as well as research publications.

Results and discussion Early studies of the hemp fibre production demonstrate a relationship between inhalable dust exposure and respiratory conditions such as byssinosis, chronic asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More recently, attention has focused on the allergenic properties of C. sativa L. pollen exposure, as well as healthy and safety hazards on outdoor recreational cannabis farms in the United States. It is evident that there are multiple biological, physical and chemical hazards associated with cannabis cultivation and manufacturing procedures, some that are inherently unique to the plant. A greater understanding of the aetiological properties of medicinal otherwise referred to as drug or hybrid type, C. sativa L. containing greater than 0.35% delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is required to determine if exposure control is required, including the development of an occupational exposure limit (OEL).

  • Respiratory Hazards
  • Medicinal Cannabis
  • Occupational Exposures

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