420 with CNW – Massachusetts Lawmakers Move to Address Vaping Dangers

September 18, 2019 03:20:46

Reports about illnesses and some fatalities possibly linked to the use of tainted vape cartridges has prompted lawmakers and state officials across the country to look for ways to address this challenge. Massachusetts is one of the states that has come out swiftly to confront this problem head-on.

On Thursday last week, the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts voted unanimously to enforce new rules requiring marijuana cartridge manufacturers to list all the ingredients in their products.

Previously, those manufacturers were only expected to indicate the THC concentration and the other cannabinoids in the product. The new rules change this and require product labels to have information on all ingredients, including additives, terpenes and the thickening agents used.

The additives used in vape cartridges have attracted heightened scrutiny of late after health authorities in New York suggested that the spate of vape-related illnesses and deaths could be linked to Vitamin E acetate added to knock-off cartridges.

Steven Hoffman, the chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, stated that one way that state regulators can help consumers is by giving them more information so that they consume products more responsibly. The added labeling requirements are intended to give consumers more information, he added.

The Cannabis Control Commission staff have also been directed by their Executive Director to collaborate more with testing labs in the state so that those facilities can develop testing protocols for all the additives included in vape cartridges.

The Cannabis Control Commission isn’t the only agency that is acting in response to the risks of tainted vape cartridges. The Public Health Department has also issued a directive to all healthcare providers to report to the department any illnesses linked to vaping cannabis cartridges.

So far, no such illnesses have been reported in Massachusetts, and the authorities want to do everything possible to keep it that way.

The same cannot be said for New Jersey which has so far registered 19 cases of the mysterious respiratory illness that has come to be linked to vaping marijuana. To contain that problem, Gov. Phil Murphy has created a special task force and given them sweeping authority to suggest any policy changes that can put the problem to an end and protect public health.

The governor doesn’t see how the problems associated with tainted vape cartridges will affect plans to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, so he wants the Assembly speaker and other Democratic leaders to move ahead with plans to table a new marijuana legalization bill.

Experts believe that the problem of tainted cartridges must be giving industry actors like Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) and Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) sleepless nights too since they damage the good name of the industry.

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