The FDA launched a criminal probe into the vaping supply chain, a move likely to affect licensed cannabis businesses, as the total reported cases of vape-related lung disease climbed above 500.
- “We’re very alarmed about products containing THC,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said. He said the investigation will focus on the supply chain, not users of illegal vape products. Many medical groups have called on people to avoid vaping until the cause is determined.
- “The industry should be worried,” D.C. cannabis lawyer Emily Leongini said.
- As far as I’m aware, no licensed cannabis manufacturer has been publicly tied to the crisis.
- On Tuesday, a congressional sub-committee will hold a hearing on vaping.
- David Downs reports an overall 15% drop in legal cannabis vape sales.
The death toll reached eight. While some cases have been tied to vitamin E acetate oil, a diluent sometimes found in street vapes, the cause of the disease continues to stump doctors. Further complicating the situation, patients often present different symptoms.
- An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested it may be caused when ingredients found in nicotine vapes mix with THC or CBD. Approximately 80% of cases involve users of nicotine and cannabis vapes.
- A story in Scientific American suggests the sickness is caused by “multiple mechanisms of damage.”
Crack downs on vaping gained momentum:
- New York and Michigan became the first states to ban flavored e-cig sales.
Fast Company, N.Y.Post
- Conservatives reacted furiously to President Trump’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigs. Some right wing quants warned it could cost Trump the election, arguing dedicated e-cig users could abandon the president en masse.
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would step up enforcement on street vapes.
- Walmart said it would stop selling e-cigarettes.
- Canna Law Blog dives into the legal implications for cannabis businesses.
The vape panic came up on the panels at WeedWeek Recharge, our event Friday at the London Hotel in West Hollywood:
- Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of consultancy Siva Enterprises, called on responsible manufacturers to come out and tell their stories publicly. Bulbulyan said similar crises are likely in store for edibles and other product categories.
- Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Julia Jacobson, CEO of Aster Farms, said the crisis was an opportunity and validation for her sungrown flower company.
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