California governor issues executive order on vaping, says it’s an e-cigarette and marijuana problem

In the wake of a nationwide epidemic of illnesses associated with vaping, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed an executive order launching a new crackdown on the burgeoning industry, both for tobacco-related companies and those in the cannabis industry.

The move appears to be the first state regulatory backlash against vaping that includes the cannabis industry and could spur others to do the same.

While the governors of Michigan and New York have moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes, as has the mayor of Chicago, no other states have yet targeted marijuana businesses or products.

Vaporizers have been the fastest growing product segment in the cannabis industry.

Newsom’s order:

  • Jump-starts a new public awareness campaign focused on the potential dangers of vaping both tobacco and marijuana.
  • Asks for recommendations on mandating additional warning signs for vaping product packaging and at retail locations.
  • Ramps up enforcement against counterfeit e-cigarettes and cannabis products as well as those who sell to minors.

Specifically, the order:

  • Requests the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) begin developing recommendations for warnings on vaping products and at retail locations – possibly including cannabis retailers – and increasing enforcement against retailers that sell vaping products to minors.
  • Requests the state Department of Tax and Fee Administration to examine a possible tax increase for e-cigarettes, and to increase enforcement against retailers that sell to minors.
  • Instructs the CDPH to allocate at least $20 million from tobacco and cannabis revenues to state coffers to fund a vaping awareness marketing campaign.

Deadlines for recommendations

The recommendations from the CDPH are due to Newsom by Oct. 14; the deadline for the CDTFA’s recommendations is Oct. 29.

Newsom reiterated that at least 63 respiratory illnesses and at least one death in California have been linked to vaping.

He intimated that perhaps another vaping-related death had been confirmed over the weekend but said he couldn’t share further details.

While the order and Newsom’s comments focused primarily on e-cigarettes, he emphasized that the marijuana industry was not being left out of potential actions to address the vaping health crisis.

“This is about these vaping products that are used for both cannabis and tobacco products,” Newsom said.

“We’re getting serious about this issue and we’re going to drive these issues as far as we can through executive authority.”

The governor said new consumer warnings, whether signs in stores or on product packaging, may very well apply to the cannabis industry as well as the tobacco industry.

“A lot of it is in the cannabis space, not just in the tobacco space. I see this agnostically, and I think … the issue of vaping, because it’s used for not only cannabis products but tobacco products, will ultimately advance the goal of addressing both at the same time,” Newsom said of his approach.

The marketing campaign, he added, is being funded by both tobacco and marijuana tax revenues.

Marketing campaign to begin next month

Slated to launch in October, the campaign will target families and children about the possible dangers of vaping overall, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly.

“In the next few weeks, the public should see a swell of ads and campaigns that really target schools and families, parents and children directly, about the risks of vaping, not just tobacco but cannabis as well,” Ghaly said.

Newsom said that if he had the legal authority, he would ban flavored e-cigarettes, but that he’ll have to wait for the Legislature to pass such a ban before it can become law.

“I’d like to see that bill on my desk,” Newsom said.

The governor also said that Weedmaps – one of the most well-known online advertisers for both licensed and illegal cannabis retailers in California – now has a “legal responsibility” to remove all unlicensed shops and delivery services from its site by the end of the year.

“They’re doing it in real time,” Newsom said when asked why Weedmaps had been given until the end of the year by his administration to remove the ads.

“They have a legal responsibility to get it done by the end of the year,” he added.

“But every day, they better be dropping folks, and we’ve been monitoring that. So this is a day-to-day occurrence, and we want to see everybody off that platform.”

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the vaping crisis, click here.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

13 comments on “California governor issues executive order on vaping, says it’s an e-cigarette and marijuana problem
  1. Arup Sen on

    We should have known the potential risks of vaping from history of cancer causing molecules created in tobacco smoke by heat degaradation products of tobacco ingredients (even the natural ones). Given the available alternative delivery options, especially in beverages, it is high time that vapes are banned altogether. Let us not repeat the tobacco history.

    Reply
    • jeff l on

      Study`s show that vaping is 95% safer then traditional smoking.They sell it in pharmacy`s and hospitals in the UK and have done 100`s of study`s and found that it is 95% safer then smoking and that 20000 people quit smoking a year from using vape . And also the youths of today smoking in the UK is on a rapid decline.
      And no nicotine doesn`t cause cancer.That`s what they want you to believe.It`s the chemicals they put in the cigarettes that give you cancer.

      Reply
  2. jeff l on

    BLACK MARKET A HOLES ARE THE CULPRIT.
    WHY WOULD A CANNABIS COMPANY PUT THAT CRAP ON THE MARKET WHEN THEY HAVE TO BE ON THERE TOES TO KEEP THE BUSINESS THRIVING.
    THEY KNOW THEY ARE BEING WATCHED. THEY CERTAINLY AREN`T GOING TO PULL SOME STUFF LIKE THAT.
    THEY ARE TRYING TO DO THERE BUSINESS THE CORRECT WAY NOT GET FINED AND SUED FOR DUMBASS CRAP LIKE PUTTING VITAMIN E ACETATE IN THE CARTRIDGES.
    PROBABLY THE JACKASSES THAT MADE THE STUFF THOUGHT BECAUSE IT WAS VITAMIN E IT WOULD BE OK TO USE….YOU CAN`T FIX DUMBASS….

    Reply
    • Pat on

      We still don’t know the sources ( licensed and/or black mkt ) of the vaping incidents. My guess, is that some of these come from the “legitimate” market. Why? Why is it taking so long for ANY relevant info to come out on this re the source? There are no real specifics out there for the public to go on. The congress and the ca. legislature, governor shouldn’t be making any legal changes without this info. They’ll look even more ridiculous ( and culpable ) if they do. But I think some of us know the answer: That these cases are probably coming from “licensed” retailers.

      Reply
  3. Michael on

    Such a ploy by big tobacco to keep profits to themselves. No one is dying from vaping cigs or mj. Just a bs report by the FDA who doesnt want vaping to keep ppl from lung cancer so they wont need more drugs. I hate American politics!

    Reply
  4. Mr.B on

    Only an ineffective California Governor would push 20 million for a marketing campaign to try and fix this problem.

    Cannabis users who smoke these oils known they have issues. Many get the “heavy cough” just a week after daily use.

    I am curious to know if any law firms have begun developing class actions if possible.

    Reply
    • jeff l on

      They need to find out who it is first. You can`t sue someone without good factual information.
      And also it`s hard to sue the BLACK MARKET.
      I vape all day long and i get my vape from a dispensary and been doing so for 3 years.
      I`ve never had any issues. But i will tell you this.
      Not all vape product is the same.Some i find harsh and don`t use.
      Some are very,very good. They have the natural taste like you were smoking the flower which is great. My favorite vape so far is from GTI (GREEN THUMB INDUSTRY) and they have a hugh assortment of vape products.There vape is fantastic.
      Goes under the name of RYTHM cartridge vapes.

      Reply
  5. Jim Curtis on

    The legal MJ industry is doomed. Impossible to succeed when Big Brother is your partner. Sold all my MJ stocks. Any profit will go to BB and investors get screwed. The message to goons like Newsom is, “go away, leave us alone.” The big winner here is the black market…May it continue to flourish. May demented, power hungry sociopaths like Newsom go up in smoke.

    Reply
  6. jeff l on

    If they stop vape sales of e-cigs and MJ, people will go to the black market to get there vape which is going to threaten people even more.What they need to do is regulate it with testing which is suppose to be done now and for the most part it is being done.
    If you can get the quality vape then there won`t be issues like deaths and sicknesses.
    Sure some people just can`t vape but most people like myself don`t have any health issues from vaping. To me vaping is fantastic.You don`t have the skunky smell that cannabis expels when made combustible. Which doesn`t offend anyone who doesn`t like it.
    Only takes a few idiots to upset the apple cart i guess that`s why we need tighter testing. It doesn`t mean it has to be more expensive to do just needs to be formulated so that you only get the cannabis and nothing else in your vape or any other cannabis item that is sold.

    Reply

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