There are more than 100 cannabis extraction facilities in Oregon.
With the recent boom in industrial hemp production, there will probably be more such facilities, including here in Central Oregon.
“First would be a cold extraction using ethanol, or grain alcohol as most of us know it. That’s generally used for what’s known as a full-spectrum oil extraction,” said Jeff Jackson, OSHA Industrial Hygiene Consultant. “There are two primary extraction processes for THC which would be liquified butane or propane or butane hash oil extraction would be the common name for it in the trade. And then supercritical carbon dioxide extraction which is a safer operation because you are not using a flammable liquid.”
The Deschutes County Farm Bureau, the Oregon Farm Bureau Health & Safety Committee and the state Occupational Safety & Health Division hosted a cannabis safety workshop at the RiverHouse conference center in Bend on Monday.
“If you’ve got a comfortable glove the worker is more likely to keep that glove on. If it’s itchy or too hot, they are going to pull it off and that’s when accidents are more likely to happen,” said Chris Niehaus with the Superior Glove Company. “So if we can get you into a comfortable glove that’s still going to protect you at the same level, that’s a win-win for everybody.”
Oregon OSHA offers free consultations to help the cannabis industry improve worker safety.
“We provide a detailed report for actions they should take and then we rate things as serious or not whether they could result in an injury to the worker,” Jackson said. “They generally get a deferral for up to 60 days after the report.”