Cannabis Industry Health and Safety
All employers in the cannabis industry, including those who cultivate, manufacture, distribute, sell, and test marijuana products, must take steps to protect their employees from all health and safety hazards associated with their work.
Several Cal/OSHA regulations apply to workplaces in the cannabis industry. This webpage contains links to these regulations and other helpful resources for providing a safe and healthy workplace in the cannabis industry in California.
The cannabis industry includes:
- Laboratory testing
Employers in California are Required to Protect Workers
Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)
Employers in California are required to take steps to protect workers from all workplace hazards that can cause injuries and illnesses.
To protect workers, employers must establish, implement, and maintain an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). The IIPP includes many elements, such as procedures to identify and correct health and safety hazards in the workplace, provide effective training to all employees so they can perform their job safely and more. In addition, employers must communicate with employees in a form readily understandable by all affected employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health, including provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the employer of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal.
The IIPP is based on the requirements for employers in the California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 3203. Cal/OSHA can assist employers with developing and maintaining a written IIPP through helpful Cal/OSHA Publications and free Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
Note: Effective training of employees that is required by section 3203 is separate from the Cal/OSHA 30-hour general industry outreach training that is required by the California Business and Professions Code, section 26051.5.
To develop a written IIPP or improve an existing program, visit Cal/OSHA's Injury and Illness Prevention Program Publications
Occupational health and safety regulations that may apply to employers in the cannabis industry
- Electrical Hazards
- Exposures to Airborne Contaminants
- Flammable Liquids and Gases
- Hazard Communication
- Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout
- Heat Illness Prevention
- Injury and Illness Prevention Program
- Machine Hazards
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Point of Operation Hazards
- Pressure Vessels
- Prohibition of Smoking in the Workplace
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Sanitation and Pest Control
- Slips, Trips, Falls and Use of Ladders
Other regulations may also apply. Employers are encouraged to use the resources below to learn more.
Cal/OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Training Requirement
In accordance with the California Business and Professions Code, section 26051.5, employers with two or more employees must ensure one supervisor and one employee have successfully completed a Cal/OSHA 30-hour general industry outreach training course offered by a training provider that is authorized by an OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center.
Note: Cal/OSHA does not enforce compliance with section 26051.5, which requires employees and supervisors to complete the Cal/OSHA 30-hour general industry outreach course. If you have questions about OTI or any regulations that require such training, please contact federal OSHA, the trainer, or the regulatory agency that mandates this training.
To find authorized training providers, please visit federal OSHA's Find a Trainer webpage.
To find authorized OTI educational centers, please visit federal OSHA's Current List of Authorized OTI Education Centers webpage.
Note: Many training providers listed on these webpages offer both Cal/OSHA 30-hour general industry and federal OSHA 30-hour general industry courses, which are different. Be sure to attend the Cal/OSHA course if required by regulations that apply to your workplace.
- California Code of Regulations, Title 8
- Cal/OSHA advisory meetings on General Industry Workplace Violence Prevention
- Cal/OSHA Consultation Services Branch - Provides free consultative assistance to employers and employees
- Cal/OSHA Marijuana/Cannabis Industry Advisory meeting website
- Cal/OSHA publications - To assist employers with various regulations
- Health & Safety Rights: Facts for California Workers
- How to file a complaint
- Model IIPP that addresses workplace security
- User's Guide to Cal/OSHA
- California Cannabis Portal
- CDC Marijuana and Public Health Website
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Guide to Worker Safety and Health in the Marijuana Industry
- Federal OSHA Current List of Authorized Education Centers
- Federal OSHA Find a Trainer
- Federal OSHA Workplace Violence webpage
- NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation - Potential Hazards during Harvesting and Processing at an Outdoor Organic Farm
- Washington State Department of Labor and Industries – Cannabis Industry Safety and Health