Six Massachusetts patients with probable — but not confirmed — cases of vaping-related lung illnesses reported using regulated products from state-licensed marijuana companies, state health officials revealed Thursday night.
The patients represent a small fraction of the 90 probable and confirmed cases of vaping-related lung illnesses flagged so far by the state Department of Public Health, but mark the first time state authorities have explicitly linked the lung illnesses to cannabis vapes purchased at legal stores and dispensaries.
The disclosure comes days before Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is set to lift a statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, a measure he imposed in September in response to a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses, which has sickened nearly 2,300 people and killed 47, including three in Massachusetts. The state Cannabis Control Commission has since imposed a separate moratorium on marijuana vape sales, which is likely to remain in place.
The health department posted the latest vape data on its website late Thursday, but did not provide a detailed comment.
Health officials declined to say which licensed producers, products, or retailers were implicated in the six cases, leaving cannabis consumers and medical marijuana patients in the dark about the safety of vapes they may have purchased from legal retailers before the ban. [Read More @ The Boston Globe]