Pennsylvania Judge Rules Cannabis Companies Can Resume Selling Vapes with Added Terpenes

Under a recent Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruling, medical cannabis vape products containing added terpenes can be sold in the state once again after being recalled for containing additives.

Full story after the jump.

A Pennsylvania court on Wednesday decided that medical cannabis companies in the state can resume selling vapes that were taken off the shelves as part of a recall in February, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Judith D. Cassel, an attorney for the cannabis companies that sued state regulators in February, alleging that the recall was unfounded, said the plaintiffs “are thrilled about the decision.” 

“The vapes can go immediately back on the shelves, and the grower processors can continue or commence producing these vapes.” — Cassel to the Inquirer 

The recall included 670 types of cannabis concentrates for vaping – about 330,000 units, the report says. Regulators had said the companies had “added ingredients that have not been approved for inhalation” by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The additives at the heart of the case are added terpenes. 

Commonwealth Court Judge Michael J. Wojcik granted a preliminary injunction overturning the recall on June 2, ruling that the companies were likely to win a permanent injunction and that the group would suffer immediate and irreparable harm without the court order. The state Department of Health appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which automatically stayed the initial ban but Wojcik’s ruling ended the stay. 

In the opinion, Wojcik said regulators “failed to present any evidence to the court of potential harm to medical marijuana patients due to the recalled products, or more specifically due to the addition of terpenes to these products.” 

The companies involved in the lawsuit said they were facing more than $17 million in collective losses from the recall and that some products have already expired. 

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Industry perspectives on this story:

The purpose of regulating medical marijuana is to ensure its safety and this ruling verifies what we already know – operators’ products are rigorously tested, approved and safe. As the state’s program surpasses its five-year mark, it’s my hope that state regulators and advocates find common ground outside of the courtroom. Together, we can continue to grow this burgeoning industry by meeting more patient needs.

Meredith Buettner - Executive Director, Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition

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