6 Probable Cases of Vaping Illness Linked to Regular Weed Vapes
Data released on Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health associates cannabis vapes purchased in state-licensed marijuana dispensaries with six probable vaping-related illnesses. This is the first time that health officials have linked legally purchased marijuana products to the mysterious lung disease that has been sweeping the nation since summer.
Six residents of Massachusetts with probable (but unconfirmed) cases of lung disease reported having bought regulated pot products from dispensaries, rather than on the black market.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health did not reveal the names of the specific products, nor the places where they were bought, leaving cannabis users in the dark whether the products they are using are safe or not.
The report of the DPH did say, however, that in five of the probable cases patients only used THC products, whereas one patient used both nicotine and THC.
These findings were published a week before Gov. Charlie Baker was set to lift the temporary ban on all vaping-related products. Meanwhile, the Cannabis Control Commission has imposed a separate ban on most marijuana vapes, which will be in effect until the Commission decides there is no more danger to public health.
So far, there have been 30 confirmed and 60 probable cases of vaping-related injuries in Massachusetts. These six patients, the topic of the latest report of the DPH, are only 7% of all confirmed and probable cases of vaping-related lung conditions. The DPH has not issued recommendations to avoid certain vape products, which makes sense as only 49 of the total number of patients have been interviewed by the state officials.
Almost 50 people have died in the US from a vaping-associated lung injury, three of whom were Massachusetts residents. Over 2,000 patients have been hospitalized, leading to companies banning the sale of vapes and vape-related apps.
The vaping crisis has hit cannabis companies hard. Will these findings in Massachusetts cause even more damage to an already struggling industry?