Special Report: Cannabis Researchers, Scientists Confront Vaping-Related Lung Disease Debate

Special Report: Cannabis Researchers, Scientists Confront Vaping-Related Lung Disease Debate

Vitamin E acetate, terpene content and the illicit market are in the spotlight, but plenty of unanswered questions remain.

September 10, 2019

At Diego Pellicer in Denver, Colo., dispensary employees are confronting the question that’s landed on the doorsteps of all cannabis businesses in recent weeks: How should the legal cannabis industry engage the sudden rise in vaping-related illnesses in the U.S.?

With five reported deaths, more than 450 other cases of vaping-related illnesses in 33 states and a rollicking series of headlines in national news media, cannabis business owners and scientists are educating a general public—and an industry—that’s not yet entirely informed on vape technologies, the bioactivities of molecules and compounds in vape products and the disparities between the legal and illicit cannabis markets (and the popular e-cigarette market).

Nick Jack, chief retail officer of Diego Pellicer, says that it’s not so much the potential sales hit that has his company worried—rather, it’s the public education gap that’s become clear this summer.

“We are working with our staff to ensure they understand the testing and regulatory procedures that recreational and medical cannabis oil companies must go through before their products are available on our shelves,” Jack says. “It’s important that we’re able to educate the consumer on product safety and regulatory guidelines that help reduce the chance of an unsafe product reaching the market.”

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