MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (1/25/2019) – Across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there’s been more than 2,100 lung injuries caused by e-cigarette-use or vaping. Of those, 42 people have died.
Here in Michigan, the state health department has identified 55 cases of the illness. MDHHS said 88% of those patients said they used a product with THC in it.
The state’s Marijuana Regulation Agency expects the number of cases to rise. So, on Friday they put emergency rules in place to help get what they’re calling a „public health crisis” under control.
Vapes have been taken off the shelves and the MRA says „state-licensed safety compliance facilities” will be testing each one. Only FDA approved inactive ingredients can be used in marijuana vape products, all ingredients must now be listed on the product’s label and no vitamin E acetate is allowed.
Doctors say consuming vitamin E isn’t a problem, inhaling it is.
Just four days after the rules were put in place, one mid-Michigan business is already feeling the impact.
„I definitely understand the health concerns; and, we don’t want to be out here selling anything that’s going to be hazardous to people’s health,” Brandi Rice-Simpson, General Manager of Light’N Up Provisioning and Microbuddery, said.
Rice-Simpson believes the contaminated cartridges are products that facilities purchased before they became licensed.
„But for a facility like this, where it went through the rigorous state testing, no we don’t believe that we carry any thing that would have the vitamin E acetate,” she explained.
„That’s anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of our revenue that comes in on a weekly basis. So, the longer that this takes, the, you know, less revenue we will see,” Rice-Simpson added.
She said they’re especially frustrated with the holidays just around the corner.
It’s not clear when the THC vapes will be back on store shelves, since every single product from every single store needs to be tested.