Like many in the medical marijuana business, you may be watching the news lately as stories emerge concerning the illnesses and deaths caused by vaping. Vaping, the use of electronic cigarettes, is popular for many as an alternative to smoking. While the jury is out on whether vaping is actually safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes, you and others in your industry know vaping is an effective way for patients to administer medical marijuana.
Nevertheless, the investigations into the recent vaping-related illnesses and deaths seem to be focusing on the use of cannabis substances in e-cig devices. Over a thousand people across the country have fallen seriously ill with mysterious lung ailments after using vaping devices, many of which seem to have contained cannabis products. What does this mean for your industry?
What you need to know
With the difficult start of Ohio’s medical marijuana business, the last thing you need is negative publicity and unsubstantiated allegations about the safety of your product. Nevertheless, you may find your customers are reluctant to purchase the products they need for relief from their medical symptoms if they fear falling ill or worse. You may be spending time reassuring your customers that your products are safe by pointing out the following:
- Consumers with chronic pain often prefer vaping because they see results almost immediately rather than waiting sometimes for hours before feeling relief.
- The state of Ohio heavily regulates medical marijuana products from the earliest stages of cultivation to the point of sale.
- Cannabis products sold for use with recreational vaping do not have the same oversight for quality and safety.
- Investigators seem to have narrowed down the cause of the vaping illness to a common ingredient, Vitamin E Acetate, which medical marijuana products do not contain.
- In fact, medical marijuana processors follow strict guidelines for quality control, which means using no cutting agents in their products.
While some medical doctors warn consumers that all vaping may be dangerous, you understand that vaping is often the most effective method of relief for some of your customers. Perhaps you will find it helpful to know that some medical marijuana processors have decided to include a label listing the ingredients of their products, and others are voluntarily warning consumers that vaping may be dangerous to their health.
It is unclear at this point whether the vaping illness and subsequent investigation will mean changes in the laws for your dispensary, but the knowledge and skills of an attorney experienced in the laws of medical marijuana may be a valuable resource to you.