On September 24th, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a public health emergency, and a four-month ban on the sales of all vaping products in the state. This ban includes both nicotine and cannabis vape products.
This blanket ban on all vape products is overreaching, and bad public health policy. The end result will be to shift the sale of cannabis vape products back to the black market, the apparent source of the problem, while simultaneously hurting medical marijuana patients purchasing regulated products. This ban will also create knockoff, black market products of both THC and nicotine vape products, and black market vendors will continue to thrive in the absence of proper regulation and enforcement of the black market.
This ban by Governor Baker, and the decision by the Public Health Council to approve it, is a reflexive, counterproductive decision that is not based in science or the evidence we have to date. Numerous public health experts, including a Commissioner at the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, have come out against this ban.
63% of the population approved Question 3 back in 2012 legalizing medical cannabis. The Department of Public Health and Governor Baker have a civic duty to execute on the will of the people, not to unilaterally overrule it through overreaching executive orders.
The Department of Public Health has unfortunately been opaque about this issue, both with us and with other organizations. As of this writing, they have not released information on the specific vape products causing the illnesses in the Commonwealth. Elara has filed public records requests with the Department of Public Health for this information, and we will continue to advocate fiercely and transparently against this ban.