Industry leaders urge Congress to legalize cannabis following vaping crisis

Nearly 800 cannabis business leaders and policy experts led by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) are calling on Congress to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act as the vaping crisis continues.

“The recent illnesses are an unmistakable reminder of the importance of effective regulation,” a letter to congressional leaders states.

“If it is confirmed that Americans are being hurt because of unregulated, illicit market cannabis vape products, it is yet another reason for real, comprehensive federal cannabis reform that will allow the regulated, tested cannabis industry to displace illicit market actors.”

The letter is signed by officials and executives from the Marijuana Policy Project, 4Front Ventures, Berkeley Patients Group, Columbia Care Illinois and hundreds more.

The NCIA made a similar argument last month in a news release, as have other industry associations.

In addition to urging Congress to immediately deschedule cannabis and regulate it like alcohol, the letter makes the following recommendations:

  • Make funds available to state medical authorities to investigate the vape illnesses.
  • Ask licensed vape cartridge producers to stop using any additive thickening agents until more data is available on what’s causing the lung illnesses.
  • Encourage producers to recall vaporizer products that use vitamin E acetate as an additive and urge retailers not to sell such products.
  • Urge consumers to buy only from state-licensed cannabis retailers.

Congress currently is in recess and it’s unclear whether lawmakers would take up this kind of reform upon returning.

For more on this story, click here.

To read a copy of the letter to congressional leaders, click here.

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

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]

4 comments on “Industry leaders urge Congress to legalize cannabis following vaping crisis
  1. Robert Judd on

    It goes far beyond allowing for more in-depth testing and research in the US and other countries to address this and other issues facing the advancement of medical cannabis. Of the states that have approved medical use, there is only some consistency with respect to the “approved medical conditions” that may be treated. Some states like Arizona, sort of leave the door open to the discretion of the physician to determine if there is/would be a “medical benefit”.

    However, what kind of consistent training is provided for healthcare providers in the states where medical use is approved? Only a few states like PA, NY and a couple of others actually require Pharmacists, Physicians, and other healthcare providers to take any kind of CE related to medical cannabis. However, even in those states…the owners of the dispensaries do not utilize the pharmacists to actually counsel patients on dosages or drug interactions…despite many existing especially for elderly patients who may be on various blood pressure medications or blood thinners and may be taking CBD or a CBD/THC combination production for a neurodegenerative condition (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s).

    Sure, the FDA approved Epidiolex earlier this year for the treatment of seizures associated with
    Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and
    older. However, it is anything but a one-size fits all solution. Research has been done by physicians in this country and Israel that have demonstrated positive results with dosages outside of the approved range for this medication. Research has also shown positive results with a combination product.

    However, again this doesn’t mean that anyone can simply buy any strain and achieve the same results as another patient. Technion University grows over 550 different strains. The program in Israel administers medical cannabis to over 30,000 patients and it is a trial and error process for many patients that requires documentation. In Israel, they are treating patients with Autism with positive results. Children who never spoke to their parents before are now able to ask them for eggs for breakfast.

    However, to achieve results like the ones we truly want to see it goes way beyond simply saying to the Federal Government…”hey you need to legalize this stuff”.

    It means that there needs to be a lot of research done. It means that there needs to be a lot of training done of healthcare providers to understand how this medication can and is being and may be used to treat different health conditions.

    Pennsylvania was the first state to approve the use of medical cannabis to be used in the treatment of opioid addiction.

    The Cannabis Industry needs to start investing in healthcare professionals and actually using them to educate people. Using them to educate other healthcare professionals. Using them to help develop software that is utilized in licensed dispensaries that track drug interactions.

    The Cannabis Industry is failing because it is not effectively working with the healthcare industry in this country. Thus it is ultimately failing those who will benefit the most from it…the patients.

    Reply
    • Poet on

      This vaping reminded me of back in the 1970 ish there was a dease called wierd lung problems from wierd Harold was ignored. but here we are. let’s kill more because of proabition

      Reply
  2. Alvin H Stapleton on

    Why not make it legal in Evey state cause people from a state that is not legal will just go to a state that is and get it. Just think about people has been smoking marijuana Forever and people are going to be stupid weither its legal or not,so why not it’s alot better than alcohol !!!

    Reply

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