Massachusetts is ending its quarantine of marijuana-oil vapes, allowing resale and reclamation of those products provided they undergo new testing for heavy metals and vitamin E acetate, the additive blamed for the 2019 vaping-related health crisis.
The quarantine was put in place last November on the heels of a September ban on vape sales at the height of the vape crisis, which sickened thousands and caused the deaths of dozens of people .
The order was later amended to allow sales of new vape products if they met certain testing and disclosure standards. But vapes manufactured before Dec. 12, 2019, remained under quarantine.
Roughly $45 million worth of vape products were affected by the quarantine order, Commonwealth Dispensary Association President David Torrisi told the Boston Business Journal.
In the amended quarantine order, which took effect Aug. 4, Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) said it never detected vitamin E acetate in any regulated vape products it tested.
However, further testing commissioned by the regulator “suggests that heavy metal (lead) levels in vaporizer products may increase over time,” the CCC noted.
As a result, vape products produced before Dec. 12, 2019, may be released from quarantine and sold only if they undergo new tests for both vitamin E acetate and heavy metal content.
Concentrated cannabis oil can also be reclaimed from quarantined vape products and repurposed into new products, as long as it undergoes testing.
Reclaimed and retested vape products will have to display labels noting they were previously quarantined and retested.
Alternately, licensees can voluntarily dispose of the quarantined vape products.