Pa. marijuana grower urges regulation for disclosure of vaping ingredients
In the wake of national concern over illness linked to vaping, one Pennsylvania medical marijuana company is making sure users, in their catchphrase, “know it before you blow it.”
Clinton County-based Terrapin Pennsylvania has disclosed all of the ingredients in its vaporizing products at DemandCleanVapes.com, and called on state lawmakers to solidify a list of certified ingredients and disclosure requirements for manufacturers.
“The purest cannabis vape product one can offer is extracted from the cannabis plant itself. Educating consumers on where their products come from and how they’re made is critical to offering peace of mind,” said Brandon Miller, Terrapin Pennsylvania’s director of laboratory operations. “By listing our in-house ingredients on product packaging and ensuring integrity through third-party testing, Terrapin PA is able to offer comfort to consumers. There is no transparency in the black market. We want consumers to demand regulated clean vapes.”
Terrapin’s products do not use any dilutants or non-plant-derived additives, and the company does not use any third-party additives, keeping its production in-house.
The DemandCleanVapes.com website lists ingredients and details the process used to create vaping oils.
In Massachusetts, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission voted earlier this month to add new regulations requiring marijuana extract and concentrate manufacturers to include the ingredients of all additives including thickening agents and terpenes, which are oils that naturally occur in cannabis.
Terrapin officials say full disclosure should be the standard.
“This is not a time to wait and see,” said Chris Woods, founder, owner and chief executive of Terrapin Pennsylvania. “This is a time to be proactive to offer comfort and confidence to consumers, especially as we continue to push for legalization across the country.”
While no clear culprit has emerged, investigation into illness linked to vaping products has largely turned toward black market products for vaping marijuana.
More than 450 people in 33 U.S. states who use vaping products have been hospitalized, and six have died, of breathing-related illnesses.
After testing products, New York has focused its investigation on Vitamin E acetate, which recently has been used as a thickener, particularly in black market vape cartridges. Suppliers say it dilutes vape oils without making them look watery. Vitamin E is safe as a vitamin pill or to use on the skin, but inhaling oily Vitamin E droplets into the lungs can trigger pneumonia, according to the Associated Press.
Immune cells containing oily droplets have been found in the lungs of some patients. These large cells, called macrophages, are the cleanup crew of the immune system. University of Utah doctors think this could be a marker for vaping injury, the AP reported. Doctors wrote up their findings about six patients in the New England Journal of Medicine.
State and federal health officials are testing products and analyzing cases for clues.
Health officials are urging people to stop vaping and to get medical care if they have trouble breathing or chest pain after vaping.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .