Massachusetts links vaping illnesses with state-regulated marijuana

New data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reveals that six patients in the state with lung injuries believed to be caused by vaping also reported using regulated marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries.

New data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reveals that six patients in the state with lung injuries believed to be caused by vaping also reported using regulated marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries. The cases indicate the first time legal marijuana vaping products in Massachusetts were associated with the nationwide outbreak of vaping cases affecting nearly 2,300 people. Officials did not release any information about which products the patients used or which retailers they visited. DPH officials listed several tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products cited by patients with either likely or confirmed lung illnesses. Although Massachusetts legalized marijuana in 2018, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission prohibited the sale of all THC vaporizers, with the exception of medical use devices that vaporize marijuana flower. A spokesperson for the agency says: "Immediately, the Commission will use this new data toward its ongoing investigation into whether marijuana products manufactured by Massachusetts licensees contain substances or contaminants of concern and thoroughly explore the origin of the products identified by DPH." Marijuana proponents say inadequate federal regulation of the drug puts people at risk, as well as insufficient information from states or retailers about the products. Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, but 11 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 33 allow medical marijuana.