Governor Charlie Baker stood by his temporary ban on nicotine and marijuana vape sales on Friday, after two new reports signaled mounting evidence that most vaping-related lung diseases were linked to illegal pot products.
"I'm not familiar with the latest release, but & # 39; most & # 39; is not & # 39; all & # 39; & # 39 ;, Baker said while speaking at an unrelated news conference in Lawrence. He said earlier that the four-month sales ban is needed to allow medical experts to determine the source of an outbreak of weapon-related lung damage, which has sickened 805 people and killed 1
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it is still investigating the cause of the disease, and warned that no single chemical has been linked to all patients. However, it updated the warning to consumers to avoid evaporating all products, especially marijuana, adding that the cause "may be related" to pre-filled cartridges containing THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
New reports released by the CDC on Friday help clarify what may have caused the majority of patients to become ill.
About 77 percent of the 514 patients interviewed nationwide reported using vaping products containing THC, according to the CDC report. Anne Schuchat, CDC's chief assistant director, testified this week that most patients reported buying products from people they knew, instead of a store.
Around 16 percent of patients nationally said they only used nicotine e-cigarettes, and many reported that vaping both shares tobacco and THC products.
A separate CDC report released Friday showed that the majority of patients who became ill in Wisconsin and Illinois reported marijuana vaping purchased from friends, family, illegal dealers or off the streets. Nearly 70 percent of these patients used a black market brand called Dank Vapes.
Baker earlier this week declared a public health condition and implemented the four-month ban on all arms sales, the first and only in the country. Rhode Island, Michigan and New York prohibit flavor vapor.
Friday, Baker cited the death of a man in Oregon who had visited a licensed marijuana store. Another death in Oregon was reported Thursday, and health authorities said the man had also purchased products at a licensed dispensary.
Baker spokesman Terry MacCormack said the governor's office "will continue to work with medical experts and federal and state officials to better understand why vaping causes lung-related illnesses and consider all options as the next step."
Massachusetts Department of Public Health is investigating at least 66 possible cases of the disease No state deaths have been reported, and the agency said it has received five to ten new reports of possible weapon-related lung diseases per day, "an alarming rate."
Baker's ban has criticized some consumer and industry advocates who fear it could drive marijuana consumers and patients to the black market, where products are probably far more dangerous.
"Why do we make harmful bootleg products the only option on the time when regulation is most critically needed? "said Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title, who noted that in Gene evidence has suggested that some licensed weapons products in Massachusetts caused harm.
She said that the government should respond to the cluster of ailments by imposing strict regulatory standards, including limiting the use of additives and other ingredients in legal vape cartridges.
"The other 49 states have performed relatively reasonably," the title said. "We are the only state that has taken such an extreme measure."
Other common brands in the black market used by patients in Wisconsin and Illinois: TKO, Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Cookies, Smart Carts, and Kingpen.