Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas H Wilkins’ ruling lifting the ban for vape products sold in the medical cannabis market had just gone into effect when the commission issued the order Nov. 12. Sales of all vape products, including nicotine and adult-use cannabis cartridges and devices, have been banned in Massachusetts since September amid the national outbreak of lung injuries associated with vape use.
According to the order signed by Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) Executive Director Shawn Collins, the CCC directs “All licensed Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers … to quarantine vaporizer products based on [the executive director’s] determination that these products pose an immediate or serious threat to the public health, safety or welfare and the quarantine is necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.”
Quarantined products include vape pens, cartridges, aerosol products and inhalers, according to the order.
The order included a list of findings from the Centers for Disease Control, including the significant discovery announced Nov. 8 that vitamin E acetate was detected in the lung fluids of 29 patients reporting lung injuries, pointing to the additive as a likely culprit in the illness outbreak.
Kris Krane, president of vertically integrated cannabis company 4Front Ventures that includes 11 medical and adult-use dispensaries in six states, says he was pleased to see that the CDC confirmed many suspicions that vitamin E Acetate was at least one agent causing e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated lung injury (EVALI). But he says he’s disappointed the agency is still advising consumers and patients to avoid all vaping products.
“What I did find odd and probably unnecessary was that [the CDC] then advised people to continue to not vape, even from legal sources,” Krane says. “[Products with vitamin E acetate] were not from legal market sources.”
The CDC maintains that vitamin E acetate, while one very likely cause, may not be the only factor in the lung injury outbreak, and this was also noted in the Massachusetts CCC’s order.
4Front’s retail brand, Mission Dispensaries, has two locations and a third in the works in Massachusetts. When asked about how the ban has affected sales, Krane did not share specifics and said the ban’s impact on businesses in the industry is not his chief concern.
“The bigger concern that I have is … what it means for those consumers and particularly