You can’t blame this on the cannabis black market.
Lab testing of legal vaping products in Massachusetts has produced troubling results in a small percentage of legal vapes. Lead contamination of up to ~30,000 ppb has been reported, although most readings were much lower.
These results affect publicly listed companies. U.S. industry leader Curaleaf Holdings (CAN:CURA / US:CURLF) had the second-highest lead contamination observed in one of its vapes. It’s CuraSlim CO2 Strawberry registered a level of lead of 17,353 ppb.
These results will be noted by regulators in cannabis markets across the U.S. Increased testing can be expected going forward.
As these products now become legal in Canada, product inspectors will undoubtedly be increasingly vigilant in looking for similar contamination in vaping products entering the Canadian supply chain.
Ironically, just as the actual “vaping crisis” is subsiding in the U.S., we learn that there are still tangible concerns with respect to these products. And these concerns apply equally to black market and legal vaping products.
In the short term, this is one more concern for the U.S. cannabis market. Since it effects legal vaping products, this could actually have more of an impact on legal cannabis sales than the relatively minor impact of the actual vaping crisis.
Longer term, it is much better to get such safety issues exposed (and dealt with) now – in the early stages of the legal cannabis industry – versus after these markets are much more developed.
In contrast, the tobacco industry is now facing enormous scrutiny now over its e-cigarettes, with billions of dollars in revenues at risk. This is the price the tobacco industry is now paying for pushing these products onto market with minimal product safety testing.
Indeed, the root of the vaping crisis (which also affects tobacco vaping products) comes in the fact that these products were brought to market in the United States (over a decade ago) without a full safety review of vaping technology. This is why it has taken many months just to determine the cause of vaping illnesses – despite e-cigarettes having been sold for decades.
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