vaping scare 2019
vaping scare 2019

The “Vaping Scare” of 2019 is a Supply Chain Issue

The Supply Chain for Vaping Devices and Cartridges Needs Regulation

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Thursday Oct 3, 2019

The “Vaping Scare” of 2019 is a Supply Chain Issue

vaping scare of 2019

There has been a significant dip in vaping-related cannabis products due to the “Vaping Scare” earlier this year. There have been several cases reported of people developing a strange “lung-related” condition after using certain vape products.


The CDC recently stated that the majority of the cases related to people who consumed black market THC products, and potentially the presence of a Vitamin E acetate within the products. Several government agencies and officials warned people from consuming these Vape products, and as a result we saw a 15% dip in sales.


While there are only roughly 800+ cases reported, twelve people have died as a result. While the CDC is trying to point towards “cannabis products” the fact of the matter is that it’s not the THC that is causing the damage. Rather, it’s a result of the lack of regulations within the supply chain of vaping related products.


Currently, there are not really any strict regulations on what can be placed inside of these devices, meaning that illicit companies can manufacture their own “counterfeit” product, using ingredients that are not fit for human consumption.


While it’s probably a good idea not to buy THC vape products from unlicensed dispensaries or suppliers currently, it’s also important to not conflate the ideas that “THC vape products are bad”. Far from it, this is an issue with the unregulated marketplace and is directly linked to the sluggish pace the government is approaching full legalization.


The Scare is prompting change


In places such as Colorado, the industry has been pushing regulating the vape products for a long time. This wasn’t an urgent matter until recently, now, it seems that by January 1st, 2020, there will be laws on the books to help regulate the market better.


“There is enough evidence out there regarding certain additives … that they should be prohibited for use in vaporizers until further research can be performed that can demonstrate safety,” Tyrell Towle, director of chemistry for the cannabis research firm MedPharm, told a group of stakeholders and state regulators at a Sept. 20 working group meeting. - Source


The biggest issue comes down to the FDA. They have restrictions and rules on many of the substances used in vaping, however, most of the tests relate to being eaten or used topically. With vaporization, you apply heat, which can change the chemical structures and create undesired effects.


The biggest issue comes from black market production. Most of the vaping related illnesses can be traced to a counterfeit product “DankVapes”. This isn’t to be confused with the actual product, the problems relate to the black market imitation.


It’s important that regulations occur within this market, as vaping is still a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. The regulatory powers simply need to do the research on which compounds should be used and which should be avoided.


Additionally, more rules on the supply chain should be implemented to weed out counterfeit products. DankVapes, the legitimate company is suffering because of the illegal copycats.


The Cannabis Industry is already pushing for change


The Cannabis industry has long advocated stronger regulations on vaping related products. Considering that vaporizing products take up a fair share of the recreational marketplace, the 15% dip in sales translates to millions of dollars lost.


With proper regulations in place, cannabis companies would be able to streamline production while ensuring safety to consumers. In reality, the FDA should have been on top of this since the inception of vaping on a commercial scale, however politics stifle action until people die.


The Vaping Scare of 2019 has claimed lives, this is something that is prompting the government to take action. It’s unfortunate that people had to die for this to happen, but on the plus side it is creating a change for the better. The future of the vaping industry will be far more regulated, meaning that hopefully counterfeit products will be removed from the supply chain – or at least reduced significantly.


The cannabis industry wants proper guidelines to provide the best product to the end consumer with minimal health impacts. Vaping is also an efficient way to consume cannabis for medical purposes. Ensuring the safety of the product is key for further expansion of medical products.


How to not be a statistic


Currently, abstinence from street corner vapes is recommended. It’s still okay to consume flower as no one has ever died because of it, and while the research comes in, we will have safer vaping products in the near future.


It should probably take the rest of this year for these regulations to be debated and voted in, especially since more people are being exposed to this disease as a result.


We know that banning the substances won’t work, we have cannabis prohibition as evidence. Thus, regulating and making it as safe as possible is the only way forward.











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