Cannabis could see a boost from the vaping crisis.
As of early November 2019, the CDC confirmed 2,051 probably lung injury cases associated with vaping, as reported by The Hill. “That’s an increase of 163 cases from last week as the spread of the illness has slowed from its peak.”
In fact, the CDC said an e-cigarette cutting agent called vitamin E acetate led to lung injuries. Vitamin E acetate is commonly found in dietary supplements and skin care products but can be harmful if inhaled, as The Hill also reported.
Public health researcher David Hammond even noted, “It is somewhat shocking how little we know” about black market THC products, as noted in USA Today.
With federal health officials now pointing to black market THC as the likely culprit behind the vaping illnesses, cannabis advocates are pushing for clearer federal rules. “The black market can only be addressed by a viable legal market that’s regulated and can promise safety and security for consumers,” said Terry Holt, spokesman for the National Cannabis Roundtable, for example.
While many have argued vaping should be banned altogether, that’s not a great solution.
After all, if folks want to find product, they’ll find it.
At the moment, 60% of Americans say that banning vaping would drive more people to the black market for product. Many argue that to combat the black market, we need to drive that market out of business with stronger federal cannabis policies.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.