To be perfectly honest, the deaths attributed to cannabis vape cartridges have hit me pretty hard. As someone that has dedicated most of my adult life to ending cannabis prohibition, the fact that any cannabis product has contributed to a death troubles me. Of course, probably all of the 47 deaths and 2,000+ illnesses have been caused by cartridges from the illegal market, but just the fact that the two victims in Oregon shopped at licensed retailers is extremely alarming, even if it hasn’t been proven that the two deaths were in fact caused by licensed products.
While Oregon’s plan to ban flavored vaping products has been temporarily halted by the Oregon Court of Appeals, we certainly haven’t heard the last of proposed regulations. With the additive vitamin e acetate a very likely culprit according to experts, shouldn’t Oregon be seriously considering a ban on the unneeded ingredient? Michigan just announced such a ban, as reported by The Detroit News:
Michigan regulators have temporarily paused the sale of marijuana vaping products as they implement new safety standards spurred by an outbreak of lung injuries. Also, regulators banned on Friday the use of vitamin E acetate, an additive that’s been linked to the injuries, in marijuana vaping products.
Under the new rules, Michigan is now requiring that all inactive ingredients added to marijuana products be clearly listed on the product label.
“Prohibiting additives that could cause harm to human health is a step forward in efforts to protect the public during this outbreak of lung injury cases,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
I’m thankful for Kind Leaf stepping up to work with processors to ensure that vape cartridges are properly labeled. This type of leadership is just one reason why consumers should support the craft cannabis boutique. Kind Leaf’s CEO and founder, Brandon Krenzler, stated:
“Kind Leaf is asking every single Oregon producer to proactively label all ingredients found within any cannabis product on our shelf. If the product has flavorings, label the each additive individually, if there is MCT oil, label it accordingly, if there is residual butane, it should be labeled.
“It is the right of the consumer to be informed and make concrete purchase decisions, and be confident that all ingredients are transparently listed. This has become a matter of integrity in the cannabis industry to ensure consumer safety by being fully transparent.
“We have the chance to set the tone and move past the contrived corporate mindset that has befallen this country and establish standards that can be used as an example to other industries. We shouldn’t have to have the FDA make requirements. We all purchase food from the store and can appreciate the listing of ingredients, shouldn’t we provide the same peace of mind?”
Speaking for myself, the state needs to step up its testing and labeling procedures and banning vitamin E acetate seems to be a no-brainer. Oregon has done a great job of leading on several cannabis policies, but here’s an example when the Beaver State may want to follow Michigan’s lead on consumer safety protections.