- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 12, 2019

Marijuana regulators in Massachusetts on Thursday rolled back a ban on vaping products sparked by a recent spate of severe lung injuries reported across the country.

The commonwealth’s Cannabis Control Commission announced it issued an amended quarantine effectively reinstating legal sales of “regulated vaporizer products” containing marijuana.

Massachusetts had banned the sale of vape products in November – vape pens and vape cartridges, among others – amid state and federal authorities raising concerns over reports of related severe lung injuries.

The new order modifies that ban to again permits the sale of vape products containing marijuana, provided they are manufactured starting Thursday and pass tests for contaminants including vitamin E acetate, a synthetic form of the vitamin considered a key culprit in the outbreak.

Licensed vendors that sell marijuana vaping products will also be required going forward to list any active or inactive additives they contain, such as thickening and thinning agents, the commission added.

Massachusetts voted in 2012 and 2016 to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana, respectively, and state-licensed dispensaries have been allowed to sell retail pot since November 2018, flying in the face of federal prohibition.

The initial vape ban was enacted after a Superior Court declared a related public health emergency in late September as the number of associated lung injuries reported across the country increased. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention subsequently identified vitamin E acetate as a key culprit and has stressed that it should not be used as an additive.

No case of a confirmed vape-related lung jury has been associated to any vaping product purchased from a licensed medical or recreational marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts, the CCC added.

Massachusetts separately rescinded a temporary ban on the sale of vape products containing nicotine on Wednesday this week.

Thirty-three states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana in spite of federal prohibition, including 11 that have also legalized recreational or “adult use” marijuana. Eight of those permit retail sales, and Illinois is expected to soon become the ninth.

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