Industry leaders in the legal cannabis market are coming together to condemn the vape-related illness that is sweeping the country and have called on Congress to legalize and regulate cannabis on the federal level in response to the mysterious sickness.
According to CNN Business, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) sent a letter to legislators on Capitol Hill this week that said the only solution to a problem caused by the proliferation of untested, unregulated cannabis oils is to end prohibition once and for all, as well as implement stringent product testing.
"These unfortunate illnesses and deaths are yet another terrible, and largely avoidable, consequence of failed prohibition policies," Aaron Smith, the NCIA's executive director, said in a statement.
"We are still in a bathtub-gin era with cannabis where there are a whole lot of people without access [to legal cannabis] and people who are not in the regulated market take advantage of this, and people who are new to the market take advantage of this," AC Braddock, CEO of Seattle-based Eden Labs, told CNN.
Gallery — Here's What Fake Vape Cartridges Actually Look Like:
But while licensed ganjapreneurs are confident that non-soluble diluents and cutting agents — including Vitamin E Acetate — used by black market cartridge makers are largely responsible for the rash of vape-related hospitalizations and deaths, mainstream outlets have also taken aim at nicotine-rich e-cigarettes like Juul. In fact, even as CNN reports on the cannabis industry response to the vape issue, the cable news company has announced a new policy that will bar e-cigarette makers like Juul from advertising on their network.
“Given the recent news reports of serious illnesses and deaths linked to the product category and the subsequent warnings from the CDC, the AMA, and the American Lung Association to consumers, CNN has revised its policies regarding e-cigarette advertising, and will not air ads in this category effective immediately,” a CNN spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “We will continue to monitor the investigations by relevant medical agencies and may re-evaluate our position as new facts come to light.”
Despite most of the hospitalized patients pointing doctors and health officials towards black market THC vape cartridges, the nicotine vape industry has also taken heat for the spat of illnesses, as well. But as the president and federal health experts move to ban flavored vape juice for its role in enticing teen users, there has still been no direct connection between Juuling and lung damage.
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