Vaping is currently under fire after several individuals became sick in a number of states due to vaping. It appears that a contaminant in the oil of cannabis produced in samples that were collected from individuals who fell ill may be the cause.
According to the Washington Post, a state health department spokeswoman shared that the chemical, “was also found in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who fell ill in New York in recent weeks.”
Another official stated at a briefing, but who was not authorized to speak publicly, also stated, “We knew from earlier testing by New York that they had found vitamin E acetate, but to have FDA talk about it from their overall testing plan, that was the most remarkable thing that we heard.”
On the other hand, according to Marijuana Business Daily, the New York Times also reported that of the 100 products used by those who were affected also tested negative for the substance. Therefore, although there may be a link between the contaminant and the illness, there is no certainty.
A few days ago, the CDC issued a statement on the issue, providing background information on: the forms of e-cigarette products, the multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette products, and clinical features of patients with severe pulmonary disease.
Among the several recommendations made to the public within the statement, one reads:
“Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.”
It is possible that this issue may have an impact on the vaping space.
According to Morgan Paxhia, the director of San Francisco-based Poseidon Asset Management, whose statements appeared in the Marijuana Business Daily article, the vaping illness outbreak, “definitely could throw some cold water on the (vaping) space.” He added,
“If people are getting sick from illicit-market products, pointing the blame at the legal operators is not going to correct the (situation). It is likely an unfair characterization of those trying to do things properly and just causes more confusion.”
Jim Makoso, the vice president of Lucid Lab Group, appeared to also take the position that the hospitalizations will affect the industry.
He shared with Marijuana Business Daily,
“In the short term, I anticipate that vape sales will pare back somewhat as a short-term response to what’s happening out there, but by and large, there are very few connections to these illnesses and specifically cannabis products. Anytime that any product in the cannabis industry could be connected to an illness … we should take it very seriously. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, because at this point it’s just conjecture.”