Recent media reports concerning respiratory illness related to vaping has shone the spotlight on the cannabis industry, particularly vaporizer technology. The crisis has focused on the illicit market for e-cig liquids, black market cannabis concentrates, and low quality vapes. It has been speculated that vitamin E acetate or other inappropriate ingredients on the black market, may be causing the illnesses. No definitive cause has been determined as authorities continue to research the origins of the illness. In the meantime, the cannabis industry is urging more regulatory control and legalization in order to displace the illicit market.
The cannabis industry’s stance is that increased government regulation will protect consumers by effectively removing counterfeit vape products and tainted ingredients from the market. Stringent measures to ban e-cigarettes and vaporizer technology will only fuel the black market, jeopardizing the quality of the supply chain, and exposing vapers to health risks.
As regulators continue to investigate the cause of the illnesses, consumers are urged to purchase vaporizer technology from legal sellers that are sourced from reputable manufacturers, that have undergone testing and are certified. Consumers should refrain from purchasing any vapes or related products from the street, illegal vendors or purchasing counterfeit vapes from the internet.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) has issued a press release calling for Congress to “immediately remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and begin to sensibly regulate this substance in a manner similar to alcohol and other consumables, and to make funds immediately available to state medical authorities to investigate these cases.”
In response to the crisis, the cannabis industry is calling for increased regulatory oversight and legalization which drive consumers to the legal market. The issues surrounding illicit vape products emphasizes the necessity for a legal and licensed market that includes testing of all products.