The CA State Dept of Health delivered a report to the BCC Advisory Committee at 10am today, so we’re sharing notes from this report:
Charity Dean, the Assistant Director of the CA Dept of Public Health, provided an update on “Vaping Related Illnesses”. The report provided some new detail but re-iterated much that is already known. Ms. Dean shared the fact that 133 confirmed cases have been identified in CA, with 3 deaths, and the vast majority of cases vape-related illness have coming from vaping illicit products — products which include THC (81%), CBD (36%), and others with nicotine added. The State Health department, along with Federal (CDC) and other state Health departments, have not located any common variable, but they’re looking at the ongoing outbreak as something “new”, given people have been vaping THC for years — “Why now? What’s new? And what changed in devices or additives?” are all questions being looked into. The CDPH is investigating different additives, but have also not ruled out toxicity by chemicals caused by heating or device-specific causes. They’ve identified not only lipid-driven cases (caused by vitamin E and other additives), but also chemical pneumonitis, caused by toxicity of chemicals inhaled.
The most important takeaway for the industry is the fact that the BCC subcommittees did not bundle the nicotine vaping epidemic among youth, or dangers of illicit THC products, together with legal THC vape products. Ms. Dean noted only a single case may have been caused by products bought from regulated sources. Ms. Dean also noted this outbreak was largely a US-issue, with few known cases in Canada and none reported internationally.
The CDPH is continuing to investigate, and until more is known, it will maintain its public advisory that all vaping is unsafe. The BCC website posts this warning: “Although CDPH regulates manufacturers of cannabis vaping products to ensure they are as safe as possible for those who choose to vape, CDPH warns that individuals put themselves at risk any time they inhale a foreign substance into their lungs. The risk of vaping now includes death. CDPH urges everyone to quit vaping altogether, no matter the substance or source.”
Marijuana Media is inviting industry to join our Lunch & Learn event on 11/6, in downtown LA, to discuss product safety, additives, heating temperatures and devices in vape products. Tickets to this event are FREE to Licensed Industry, but must be reserved in advance. Lunch will be provided. For details, and to register, please use this link: https://marijuanamedia.safechkout.net/Product-safety-register