The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has “quarantined” all vaporizers except for those “designed to exclusively vaporize marijuana flower for medical use patients.” The move comes less than a week after the federal Centers for Disease Control linked vitamin E acetate to the vaping-associated pulmonary injury. The substance was found in illegal and counterfeit cannabis vape pen products.
Last month, following the rise in reports of the illness throughout the U.S., Gov. Charlie Baker (R) ordered a four-month ban on the sale of both cannabis and nicotine vaping products. That ban was, ultimately, challenged in court. Last week, a state Superior Court judge overruled part of the order, deciding that medical cannabis patients could buy vape products unless the CCC ruled otherwise, according to a Boston Herald report. The judge said that only the commission had the authority to ban medical cannabis products.
The CCC last month announced that they would require more detailed labeling of all cannabis vape cartridges, extracts, and concentrates amid the outbreak. Under those requirements manufacturers must include on their ingredient list every additive used in the product, including thickening agents and specific terpenes.
“Current manufacturing processes and information available to the Commission do not definitively preclude the possibility that licensed vaporizer products contain vitamin E acetate or other potential ingredients of concern.” — CCC, “Quarantine Order Applying to Vaporizer Products,” Nov. 12, 2019.
Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said during a press conference that the ban could “drive everyone to the illicit market” which is where people were likely getting the products that were making them sick in the first place.
Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title said the ban is not “open-ended” and is “based on credible evidence.”
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