Grow, Gift, Repair


Now, nearly a year after she quit working at NETA and filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claiming she was regularly exposed to mold via cannabis flower, Hassel mockingly says NETA stands for “Never Ethically Treating Anybody.”

“Mold was an issue at both [NETA’s] Franklin cultivation center and the Northampton dispensary,” Hassel wrote in her complaint to OSHA. The former budtender reported that she “observed powered mildew flower” while trimming cannabis in 2016 in Franklin but was instructed by a supervisor to “cut around it.” She also says that management dunked “marijuana flower into a hydrogen peroxide solution to treat the mold.”

In response to a request for comment, a NETA spokesperson wrote, “Our product is tested for mold, yeast, bacterial and other biological pathogens, by independent laboratories… No product is delivered to the dispensaries that has not passed state testing protocols.” Regarding hydrogen peroxide, the spokesperson offered information that was previously unavailable in the company’s response to regulators: “NETA has been open and public about our use. The [response to Hassel’s OSHA complaint] pertained to our Northampton RMD and would be misapplied when discussing our harvest practices.”

In her May 2017 complaint, in which she detailed her employment as an RMD agent from September 2015 through March 2017, Hassel claimed that she was “not informed” that people were breathing in potentially hazardous mold. She says, and another former employee confirms, that NETA supervisors said the use of hydrogen peroxide to clean moldy cannabis is the “industry standard.” But some experts claim otherwise