Cannabis company iAnthus Capital Holdings (CSE:IAN,OTCQX:ITHUF) is resuming its work in the Massachusetts vape market following the lifting of a state-wide ban on vaping products due to a health crisis in the country.
The US-based multi-state operator (MSO) confirmed that its Massachusetts subsidiary, Mayflower Medicinals, expects to have vaping products available to the market in the next few weeks.
Last Thursday (December 12), the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) amended its quarantine on cannabis vaping products, allowing retailers to once again sell devices that vaporize cannabis flower for medical use, as well as devices that vaporize substances with no usable marijuana.
The amended quarantine limits sales to vape products that have been manufactured from last Thursday onward and have passed testing for heavy metals and vitamin E acetate, which has been found to affect normal lung function when inhaled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Randy Maslow, president of iAnthus, said in a statement that the company’s vape products are ready to be tested and that the firm is completing reviews of its product labeling to ensure it meets the requirements from state regulators.
“Patient safety is our number one priority and we support the additional requirements for testing as it only helps to assure better, safer products and outcomes for patients,” said Maslow.
The company said it doesn’t expect the testing will be delayed since it has never used vitamin E acetate in the production of its vape products.
The CCC has also called for retailers to include an insert with both disposable and reusable vapes that identifies their manufacturer, components and coil materials.
Massachusetts vaping ban joins others across the US
Massachusetts’ vaping woes began in September when the state’s governor, Charlie Baker, declared a public health emergency following a rash of e-cigarette-related lung diseases, and placed a four month ban on flavored and non-flavored vaping products, the first of its kind in the US.
“The use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vaping products is exploding and we are seeing reports of serious lung illnesses, particularly in our young people,” Baker said in a statement.
The governor added that the ban would allow the state to work with medical experts to discover the cause of the illnesses and find ways to best regulate vaping products moving forward.
According to the CDC, since last Tuesday (December 10), there have been over 2,400 hospitalized cases of lung injuries associated with vaping product use in the US.
The ban was lifted earlier than expected last Wednesday (December 11), ushering in a new set of regulations governing the sale of nicotine and tobacco-flavored vaping products in Massachusetts.
Come June 2020, the sale and consumption of flavored nicotine vaping products will be restricted to adult smoking bars. There will also be a 75 percent excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products on top of the state’s existing 6.75 percent sales tax.
Massachusetts is one of several jurisdictions in the US that has put measures in place to cut vape use.
On Monday (December 16), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-liquids, to go into effect on July 1, 2020.
The mayor said in a statement that this policy is taking a stand against Big Tobacco’s attempts to lure children to vaping products.
“By signing this legislation, we are standing up for our kids, the health of our city, and taking the action that is necessary to curb tobacco use once and for all,” de Blasio added.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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