An academic study found that the cannabis vaping health crisis of 2019 was more pronounced in states that lacked legal recreational marijuana stores, pointing to the illicit market as the culprit and helping to further bolster consumer confidence in products from the licensed market.
The findings strengthen the perception that state-legal marijuana industry products are safe and well-regulated as well as lend credence to cannabis legalization efforts – which could lead to greater business opportunities for MJ companies.
The study, published on the Journals of the American Medical Association Network and conducted by researchers at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, found that recreational marijuana states had among the lowest electronic cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) rates of all states.
The researchers used data on the reported EVALI cases in 2019 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The vape crisis that began last summer rattled the cannabis industry, causing an initial drop in sales for companies that sell cannabis oil vaporizers, though the market has since mostly recovered.
According to the study, the average recreational marijuana state had 1.7 EVALI cases per million people.
In contrast, the number of EVALI cases was 8.8 per million people in medical marijuana states and 8.1 cases per million people in states without a legal cannabis program.
“This certainly comes as no surprise,” Aaron Smith, executive director of National Cannabis Industry Association, told Marijuana Business Daily.
“But it’s great to see more validation that regulation is working in the states with legal programs.”
Smith also mentioned that it’s important for other states that haven’t moved forward to legalize their own adult-use markets to recognize this study.
– Bart Schaneman