Police have revealed the identification of an employee who died at a Green Thumb Industries (GTI) growing and manufacturing facility in Illinois last week.

Julie M. Devinney, 60, of Rock Island, Illinois, died suddenly on July 14 from “natural causes,” according to a Rock Island police report obtained by WeedWeek. Devinney was employed as a part-time production technician. 

Devinney, who reportedly was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), began having difficulty breathing after routine, pre-shift stretching exercises. The report indicated the stretches were “not strenuous.” Employees called 911 and began CPR when Devinney stopped breathing, but she was later declared dead at the scene.

The report notes Devinney had a history of severe breathing problems. An employee told police the Rock Island Fire Department had been dispatched to the facility “three to four times” due to Devinney not being able to breathe. She reportedly left early July 13 because she “wasn’t feeling well.”

It is unclear if Devinney’s condition was connected to working in a cannabis facility. Her death follows the 2022 death of a Trulieve employee, who died after inhaling ground cannabis dust at a Massachusetts facility.

A local Teamsters branch has called for greater health and safety measures at the GTI facility. The union cited health and safety complaints filed with OSHA against the Rock Island facility, including two on May 4 and one on June 23.

“Our team is heartbroken over the loss of our beloved team member, Julie,” a GTI spokesperson told WeedWeek. “According to the police report, the Rock Island County Deputy Coroner conducted an investigation and determined the cause of death to be from natural causes. The safety of our employees is our top priority, and Green Thumb regularly reviews working conditions to ensure the highest safety standards for our team. Our hearts go out to Julie’s family, friends, and our team members who are coping with this unimaginable loss.”