Michigan halts sale of marijuana e-cigs unless re-tested

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan on Friday halted the sale of marijuana vaping products until they are tested for a compound that has been identified as a culprit in e-cigarette-related lung illnesses.

The state Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s emergency rules, which prohibit vitamin E acetate, apply to existing medical marijuana businesses and those in the process of being licensed to sell for recreational use as soon as Dec. 1. Regulators noted that U.S. health officials found the compound in the damaged lungs of 29 patients across the country who were sickened from vaping.

“It is absolutely vital that patients and consumers know, with certainty, the ingredients in the products that they are using,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said in a written statement. “These rules require stringent testing and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Michiganders.”

Effective immediately, businesses cannot sell previously made marijuana vaping products unless they pass new testing. Processors making new products are barred from using inactive ingredients that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Regulators said they will inspect processing facilities twice a month to ensure compliance. Inactive ingredients added to marijuana products must be clearly listed on the label.

Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive, most notably as a thickener in e-cigarette products that contain THC, which gives marijuana its high, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though vitamin E is safe as a pill or to use on the skin, inhaling oily droplets of it can be harmful.

Fifty-five vaping-related lung injuries have been identified in Michigan, including a 17-year-old boy who needed a life-saving double lung transplant.

This is the second time since September that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has taken emergency steps to limit vaping. Her ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes has been blocked by a state judge and is being appealed.

An industry group backed the latest rules on Friday.

“We’re fully supportive of the governor’s decision,” said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “Our member’s No. 1 priority is providing safe, tested medicine to medical marijuana patients across the state. We think this will contribute significantly towards that goal.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read