With the death toll reaching 42 and more than 2,100 serious illnesses reported, contaminated vape cartridges have rocked the cannabis and vaping industries. After Oregon first confirmed deaths and illnesses in the state, Pendleton’s Kind Leaf took the proactive approach of pulling vape cartridges that contained artificial ingredients, or couldn’t prove all-natural ingredients, off of their shelves.
Opinions may vary and I respect differences of opinions, but I personally applaud Kind Leaf’s decision and am glad that the company’s Director of Operations, Erin Purchase, has been appointed to the state commission looking into the matter. Oregon Governor Kate Brown eventually announced a temporary ban on flavored cannabis vape cartridges, but that directive was just temporarily blocked by the Oregon Court of Appeals. What happens now is anyone’s guess, but we can probably expect the Oregon Legislature to take up the issue and for formal rulemaking to take place next year.
Speaking for myself only, it seems to me that the state should be looking into the additive vitamin E acetate first and foremost since it seems to be a prime suspect. I’m also concerned about any and all non-cannabis additives and think that, at the bare minimum, every ingredient should be labeled so consumers can make informed decisions.
Once again, Kind Leaf is demonstrating real leadership on the this issue and is working with others in the industry to put consumer safety at the forefront. Kind Leaf CEO and founder Brandon Krenzler released the following statement:
We have received clarification from our regulatory agencies on what Vape pens are currently allowed on retail shelves in Oregon, after this stay on the governors blanket ban by the Oregon court of appeals.
After this information, we will begin to work with our vending partners to be provided detailed information about their products and any utilized additives. We will use this information to best make the decision as to whether or not their products are of high enough quality to be on the shelves at Kind Leaf, we are making the request that producers list each individual ingredient on their label.
We will maintain our position of a highest priority to customer care and safety. Many companies have already expressed interest in disclosing their additives on the label.
I sincerely applaud Kind Leaf’s stance on cannabis vape cartridges and hope that processors and others in the industry join them in placing the health of customers, many of whom are sick patients with compromised immune systems, ahead of simply making profits. The cannabis industry still has an opportunity to be different than other industries that have gone completely corporate and place the financial interests of shareholders over the wellbeing of our communities. Kind Leaf is certainly helping lead the way.