Last week I wrote a couple of blogs about cannabis vape cartridges, including whether Oregon should follow Michigan’s lead and ban vitamin E acetate from the market after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) named the substance as the most likely culprit behind over 40 deaths and 2,000 illnesses nationwide. On Friday, state regulators announced the ban on the ingredient. OPB reported on the decision by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission:
Based on the CDC’s findings, the OLCC has determined that vitamin E acetate is an “adulterant,” or an ingredient which is “foreign, inferior, poisonous or deleterious.”
This action by the commission supports the public health finding. The ingredient would still be allowed in non-inhaled products such as lotions and edibles.
“We’re making it clear that to protect consumer health we will vigorously scrutinize what goes into marijuana products sold in Oregon’s legal marketplace,” Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, said in a news release. “The commission is taking steps with our regulatory partners to put in place additional consumer safeguards.”
Erin Purchase, Director of Operations of Kind Leaf and a member of Oregon’s new formed Vaping Public Health Workgroup, stated, “I am happy to see that the OLCC has taken the first steps in ensuring consumer safety by banning Vitamin E Acetate. I hope that our state regulators take additional steps by requiring additives to be labeled on the packages. Perhaps with further studies and clarifications the importance of transparent labeling will be revealed.”
Personally, I applaud this decision of the OLCC and am proud of Kind Leaf and other good actors in the Oregon market that have been proactive and are working towards more safety precautions and labeling transparency. The ability to adapt to new information with new industry norms and regulations is just one of the examples why legalization is a much better policy than prohibition. It’s possible that the cannabis industry will need to adapt again as the CDC continues to study the vaping issue to determine if any other factors besides vitamin E acetate are involved, as The Washington Post reports:
Investigators are also trying to find out what other toxins might be flowing into people’s lungs as they vape. Federal health officials have said the outbreak may have more than one cause.
Stay tuned as we keep you posted on the latest science, regulations, and industry decisions impacting consumer safety. Here is the OLCC’s full announcement on the banning of vitamin E acetate from cannabis vape cartridges:
|November 22, 2019
OLCC Affirms Authority to Prohibit Marijuana Adulterants