The vaping disease which has killed six and sickened hundreds continues to stump doctors. A “significant subset” of vaping fluids used by sick patients contained vitamin E acetate, a diluent sometimes found in illegal cannabis vapes. However, some of the sick patients have denied vaping THC products.
Doctors consider using vapes bought illegally to be the riskiest behavior, although they can’t confirm the safety of approved products. “E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless,” according to a story in the The New England Journal of Medicine. “It can expose users to substances known to have adverse health effects, including ultrafine particles, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and other harmful ingredients.”
- State regulators have asked licensed dispensaries to review their inventory and remove any products they feel might be dangerous.
The backlash is on:
- President Trump suggested the FDA could ban all flavored e-cigarettes (but not cannabis vapes) and then seemed to walk it back. It’s not clear if Trump grasps the distinction between cannabis and nicotine vaping.
CNN 2x, Politico
- State lawmakers see a long awaited opportunity to crack down on teen nicotine vaping.
- MJBiz asks what the crisis could mean for the broader cannabis industry.
- A Colorado oncologist is telling her patients to smoke joints rather than vape.
- The panic has reached Canada, which is set to legalize cannabis vape pens by the end of this year. ????WW Canada has more.
Cannabis industry groups consider the outbreak another reason to legalize cannabis, arguing dangerous products would be less likely in a fully regulated market. “These unfortunate illnesses and deaths are yet another terrible, and largely avoidable, consequence of failed prohibition policies,” National Cannabis Industry Association co-founder Aaron Smith tweeted.
- In New York, it’s not clear whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) agrees. The state said it would not reconsider its MED flower ban because of the crisis.
- Amid the panic, legal vape sales lost about 12% of market share in California and saw similar results in other legal states.
- See CNN for more.
And in a late breaking story, an AP investigation has uncovered another contamination problem which could mean more headached for the industry. The reporter found CBD vapes and edibles spiked with dangerous (and much cheaper) synthetic cannabinoids.
- The cases appear concentrated in the southeast.