BOSTON—Following a Superior Court ruling and investigative findings from the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) on Tuesday issued a quarantine order for marijuana products and devices that rely on vaporization or aerosolization, including, but not limited to, vape pens, vape cartridges, aerosol products, and inhalers, in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Massachusetts. The Commission’s quarantine order does not apply to medical-use marijuana vaping devices designed exclusively for marijuana flower.
As part of an ongoing investigation into a nationwide outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injuries, on Friday, November 8, the CDC reported “direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs.” Their announcement came three days after Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled the Commission is the single state entity authorized to regulate marijuana.
On Thursday, November 7, the Commission voted unanimously to begin a process of developing regulations relative to medical and adult use of marijuana vaping products and reaffirmed the Executive Director’s authority to take administrative action to protect the public health, safety, or welfare. Additionally, the Commission is formally requesting that the Department of Public Health (DPH) provide the Commission with all information it has collected regarding cases of pulmonary illness reported from September 24 to November 7, 2019. The Commission will continue to coordinate with DPH to monitor and evaluate causes and findings related to associated lung injuries in Massachusetts.
The Commission’s existing testing regulations and protocols do not require testing for vitamin E acetate. Based on current manufacturing processes, it is possible that legal marijuana products sold in the state could contain vitamin E acetate or other potential ingredients of concern. As part of the Commission’s quarantine order issued Tuesday, licensed Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers are required to quarantine products on administrative hold in the state’s mandated seed-to-sale tracking system of record.