A proposal for a year-long ban on all cannabis vaping sales was introduced recently by a Los Angeles City Council member and passed unanimously. The proposed ban would include flavored tobacco products, menthol cigarettes, flavored vaping products and cannabis vapes.
The ordinance, if passed, has many in a state of panic over the future of the booming cannabis industry, within which vaping is the fastest growing.
If other California cities follow suit, hundreds of millions of dollars could be lost as well as an equal amount of inventory that could end up in the trash.
“It could quite possibly represent the death of the regulated industry,” Kenny Morrison, president of the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association (CCMA), said.
He added that a ban in LA could have a ripple effect for the entire legal cannabis supply chain in California, among the largest in the world.
“Not only is it going to put a bunch of vape companies out of business and have a chilling effect on capital markets, but it’s also going to have a chilling effect on non-vape companies that want to enter the regulated space as well,” Morrison told Marijuana Business Daily.
The amount of revenue from vape products, according to the Associated Press, has dropped by 15% nationwide, with some states, including Oregon, seeing decreases of more than 60%.
Although the largest and the strictest ban yet proposed, California is not the first. New York and Michigan made similar decisions shortly after the vaping crisis began receiving media attention in early September.
California’s proposal came on the heels of a briefing by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Friday Sept. 27, 2019.
The CDC urged people to stop vaping THC products as the death toll from a mysterious lung disease rises with no signs of abating.
Vaping related illness, according to the CDC, has sickened 805 people across 46 states and one territory.
Second death in Oregon
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) confirmed a second vape-related death on Sept. 26, bringing the national death toll to at least 13; a new death in North Carolina also may have been related.
The deceased person in Oregon had been vaping cannabis products, reported the local press. The OHA confirmed that the victim had bought legal cannabis products from licensed retailers.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown requested that the Oregon Health Authority “look at options we have for potentially decreasing the impact of this illness,” which many say could mean yet another ban on vaping products.
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, on Sept. 27, also called for an emergency ban on all flavored vaping products, including those that contain nicotine and THC.
New Culprit? Dank Vapes
Several marijuana products have been identified as possible culprits in the vaping crisis.
Health officials, reported the CDC, said that some of the most dangerous products include THC-filled vaping cartridges labeled “Dank Vapes,” as well as other illegal brands purchased from friends or on the street.
“Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution,” according to the CDC report.