Commission Amends Quarantine Order to Permit Sale of Marijuana Vaporizer Devices and Newly Manufactured Marijuana Vaping Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 12, 2019

CONTACT: Cedric Sinclair, Director of Communications, 857-268-6454; Maryalice Curley, Press Secretary, 857-292-4891; cnbpress@mass.gov

Commission Amends Quarantine Order to Permit Sale of Marijuana Vaporizer Devices and Newly Manufactured Marijuana Vaping Products

Order is subject to terms pertaining to toxicant screening, consumer awareness, and recordkeeping compliance measures

WORCESTER—The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) has issued an amended quarantine order for vaporizer devices and products manufactured by Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in Massachusetts. Effective at 2 p.m. today, the order permits the sale of devices used to vaporize flower for adult and medical use of marijuana, devices designed to vaporize concentrate that do not contain usable marijuana, and regulated vaporizer products that are manufactured starting Thursday which pass screens for vitamin E acetate as well as other contaminants required under the Commission’s testing protocols.

The Commission’s initial quarantine remains in place for all other marijuana vaporizer products that have been manufactured prior to December 12.

Today’s action modifies a November 12 quarantine order the Commission issued following a Superior Court ruling concerning the Commonwealth’s declared vaping public health emergency and investigative findings from the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) that identified vitamin E acetate as a chemical of concern among people with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. On December 6, the Commission entered into a data-sharing agreement with the Department of Public Health (DPH) after DPH identified licensees that may be linked to probable lung injury cases in Massachusetts. No case with a confirmed injury has so far identified using vaping products that were purchased from a licensed Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center.

As part of an ongoing investigation, the Commission continues to test vaporizer products for the presence of toxicants or contaminants, including vitamin E acetate and heavy metals. Using validated tests, Independent Testing Laboratories have not identified detectable levels of vitamin E acetate from 91 initial vaporizer product testing samples that were collected from unique source production batches from 19 licensees in November. The Commission is still awaiting the results of 126 additional vaporizer product test samples collected from unique source production batches from 22 licensees in December.

Based on initial testing results from samples collected in December, the Commission has determined continued investigation is necessary to determine whether any vaporizer product samples exceed the heavy metals threshold established in the Commission’s Protocol for Sampling and Analysis of Finished Medical Marijuana Products and Marijuana-infused Products. The Commission’s investigation into existing vaporizer product toxicants remains ongoing.

Under the amended order, prior to the sale of any new vaporizer products, licensees will be required to confirm the finished products do not contain vitamin E acetate and remain in compliance with the Commission’s testing protocols after the injection of usable marijuana concentrate. The order also underscores all licensees’ ability to submit marijuana vaping products to Independent Testing Laboratories for vitamin E acetate screening or retesting for toxicants or contaminants while the Commission’s quarantine on additional marijuana vaping products remains in place.

Going forward, in accordance with new regulations approved by the Commission in September, licensees that sell marijuana vaping products will be required to list their active or inactive additives, including the amount infused or incorporated during the manufacturing process, including thickening agents, thinning agents, and specific terpenes. Under the amended quarantine order, licensees will also be required to disclose that the patient or consumer may request to inspect a copy of the product’s associated testing results.

Retailers and dispensaries that sell vaporizer products will be required to post a conspicuous disclaimer that reads, “This product has been tested for contaminants, including Vitamin E Acetate, with no adverse findings. WARNING: Vaporizer Products may contain ingredients harmful to health when inhaled,” and provide an insert with the same language at point of sale. Additionally, those that sell disposable and reusable vaporizer devices such as pens will be required to include a written insert that identifies their manufacturer, battery, and other known components, and discloses the materials used in their atomizer coil. This information will be required to be included in product lists posted on the licensee’s website and other third-party applications as well.

The amended order also mandates additional compliance terms for licensees that pertain to recordkeeping in the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system and between licensees that wholesale products.

While the Commission’s quarantine on products manufactured before December 12 remains ongoing, patients or consumers who are concerned about a product they bought previously should consult with the Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center from which it was purchased. Licensees may be able to provide more information about where a product was produced, as well as manufacturing details about the cartridge, battery, atomizer coil, or other components.

The Commission continues to encourage patients who are impacted by the quarantine to consult with a clinician about alternatives to care.

For more information about the amended quarantine order, contact the Commission by emailing Commission@CCCMass.com, call 774-415-0200, or follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.

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