Several states have banned e-cigarettes as a link is being drawn by health officials between their consumption and the sickness of over a thousand, and the deaths of 18 people, across the nation, according to The Washington Post.
In late September, the Associated Press reported a hit to the legal cannabis industry from the health scare, causing vape sales to drop by 15% nationally.
But the same has not been true in Nevada County, according to the owner of its sole legal dispensary.
“We’ve seen an increase” of people buying vape products, said Daniel Batchelor, co-owner at Nevada City’s Elevation 2477’.
That’s because the store is licensed and carries products from distributors that are safe, said Batchelor. As such, vape pens sold at Elevation 2477’ are checked for microbials, heavy metals and residual solvents, removing possible danger, said Batchelor.
The result, he said, has been an increase of trust with the dispensary.
“We have seen more people coming in because they’re turning away from the black market,” said Batchelor.
CannaCraft, a distributor for Elevation 2477’, is encouraging the prevention of illicit vaping and is pushing licensed manufacturers to enact “anti-counterfeit vape measures on cannabis products,” according to an information report.
The Nevada County Health Department doesn’t have local data about illnesses or deaths linked to vaping, but public health officer Ken Cutler advised people to follow instructions from the state health department.
STATE: Refrain from vaping
As of Sept. 24, the California Department of Public Health issued a health advisory “urging everyone to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source” until its investigation closes.
The health department said licensed cannabis retailers can only sell products “obtained from a licensed cannabis manufacturer that have been tested by a licensed laboratory.”
It advised not consuming untested products from non-authorized dispensaries.
Lauren Sandford, staff writer for the legal advocacy firm ConsumerSafety, agreed.
“Users should not be vaping THC and other marijuana products unless it is legally sold or dispensed in their area,” she wrote in an email to The Union.
Some have said the scare around vaping and e-cigarettes is excessive.
Addiction lecturer at an Australian university, Stephen Bright, believes state governments are overreacting with outright bans of e-cigarette sales, suggesting they rather “apply stringent regulations” he told New York publication The Cut.
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.