Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts issued an emergency order on Tuesday that bans all vaping merchandise in the state. The governor’s move comes as he declared a public overall health emergency with the ongoing rash of severe lung illnesses that have been linked to vaping.
The ban was swiftly authorized by the Massachusetts Public Well being Council on Tuesday and went into impact quickly. The prohibition on vape merchandise is at the moment scheduled to finish on January 25 of subsequent year, though it could be extended by Baker or the council.
Baker mentioned at a press conference at the State Home on Tuesday that a meeting with healthcare experts final week prompted him to act, saying he located their experiences with the crisis “deeply troubling.”
“One of the professionals mentioned that, ‘We do not have time to wait. Persons are acquiring sick and the time to act is now.’ I couldn’t agree a lot more,” Baker mentioned.
Dr. Alicia Casey, a pediatric pulmonologist at Boston Children’s Hospital who appeared at the press conference with the governor, mentioned that some of the hospitalized teens she has been treating necessary ventilators to survive and could have permanent lung harm.
“I can assure you that these merchandise are not protected,” Casey mentioned. “This ban is a vital and required step to combating this epidemic of youth vaping.”
Ban Extensively Criticized
Baker’s action is currently getting criticized by tiny company owners, the state’s nascent cannabis market, and even state regulators, who note that it is largely unlicensed cannabis merchandise that have been implicated in the lung illnesses. Shaleen Title, a member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, blasted the move by Baker.
“This is a terrible choice,” Title wrote in a tweet. “Purposely pushing people today into the illicit market—precisely exactly where the risky merchandise are—goes against each principle of public overall health and harm reduction. It is risky, quick-sighted, and undermines the benefits of legal regulation.”
The Washington, D.C.-primarily based market group the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) also disagreed with the ban, saying that “media reports suggest that unregulated merchandise containing THC may well be a main supply of the epidemic.”
“While we share Gov. Baker’s concern for public security and his wish to address the epidemic of lung illnesses, we are fearful of the unintended consequences of a ban on the sale of state-regulated cannabis merchandise utilized in vaporization devices,” mentioned CTF in a statement on the ban. “By banning cannabis vape merchandise that are created according to state regulations, it significantly increases the likelihood that people will seek to purchase those merchandise from unregulated sources.”
David O’Brien, the president of the Massachusetts Cannabis Business enterprise Association, referred to as on state officials to promptly ascertain if licensed cannabis merchandise are involved in the spate of lung illnesses.
“There appears to be a conflation of all issues vaping,” O’Brien mentioned. “Stores will do what they’re told, but let’s not have an elongated time-out—let’s figure out what’s at challenge, and if legal cannabis is not the challenge, then let it be sold. I strongly suspect it is not.”