Last year, in November, Massachusetts quarantined at least 600,000 vape products during the vaping sickness scare. Now, these products can be retested and either sold or recycled into new products, as long as they pass additional testing performed at approved facilities.
According to a press release from the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) in Massachusetts released Monday, now that three rounds of testing and a public comment period have passed, the businesses can proceed with making use of these products, as long as they are clearly labeled with warnings explaining they were previously quarantined after passing the testing cycle.
After two testing attempts, the products must be thrown out if they do not pass. The public comment period allowed people to speak out about whether or not they supported the reuse or use of these products or saw any issues with the attempt to salvage any of them. Only after this time was it deemed that the products could be further tested and then resold or repurposed.
“Since the Commonwealth declared a vaping public health emergency last fall, the Commission has dedicated significant energy and resources to investigating the additives, hardware, and storage practices that licensees use to produce and sell cannabis vaporizer products,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said in the press release. “Fortunately, repeat tests of licensed product samples did not return any detectable levels of [vitamin E acetate]; unfortunately, they did establish that heavy metal contamination may increase in vaping products over time.”
A Matter of Public Health And Safety
The new, amended quarantine order, also released Monday, explained that the first round of tests of these quarantined vaping products looked for vitamin E acetate, the main culprit associated with vaping sickness. The second round of testing screened for vitamin E acetate and heavy metal levels as well to make sure that the products were thoroughly tested. Those that passed both of these tests can be released back to market or reused as long as they pass the additional testing
“This new order seeks to strike a balance between those products that can be retested or remediated safely for sale or repurposing with proper warning to patients and consumers, and those that cannot,” the press release explains. “As the nation continues to learn more about the broader health implications of vaping in all forms, I urge patients and consumers to understand the risks when they choose to consume any cannabis vaporizer product.”
The goal is to not waste any product or profit, but also to make sure the vaping products are completely safe and pose no threat before anyone uses these products or makes them into new products.
“The Commission continues to research and evaluate information relative to vaporizer device product manufacturing processes and safety standards in furtherance of its obligation to ensure a safely regulated industry,” the press release explains.
While some of these products might fail the additional testing cycles and won’t be able to be reused, at least there will not be a total loss, as some products will now be resold or repurposed in Massachusetts.