Oregon has enacted its statewide ban on flavored nicotine and cannabis e-cig products this week, following the steps of the state of Washington. Oregon’s ban will last for six months.
The exception makes some sense, as many of the products the CDC has linked to vaping illness contained additives, instead of pure marijuana terpenes, for flavor.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates the recreational marijuana market, voted unanimously to approve the temporary e-cig sales ban on the same day that the Oregon Health Authority, which regulates tobacco sales statewide, filed the ban with the Oregon Secretary of State.
Dozens of marijuana processors and vape manufacturers packed the commission room during the vote and some shouted out in frustration during a news conference when an official said the ban would only affect 10 percent of the cannabis vape market.
“It’s going to kill immediately 70% of my company’s revenue. It’s based off of what we consider faulty logic and faulty understanding” of the science behind adding flavor to marijuana vape pens, Jason Thompson, the sales director for Eugene, Oregon-based Sublime Solutions, said after the vote.
Federal investigators say that nearly 80 percent of people who have come down with the vaping illness reported using e-cig products containing THC, the high-inducing chemical found in marijuana. They have not traced the problem to any single product or ingredient. But investigators are increasingly focused on thickeners and additives found in illegal THC cartridges sold on the black market.
Joe Bergen, general manager for two companies, Avitas Oregon and Hellavated, said his sales have already dropped because of the scare over lung illnesses and he’s had to reduce his workforce by nearly 20%.
The ban goes into effect today, Tuesday, October 15th, and lasts until April 11.