Health Canada says it hasn’t tested health effects of cannabis vaping but will release new products anyway


‘There has been no analysis done,’ agency says, because products not yet on market

The federal government will allow the sale of cannabis vaping products starting next week despite not having tested the health effects of inhaling substances emitted from such devices. At least one cannabis company has preemptively pulled its product over health and safety concerns, CBC News has learned.

Cannabis vapes are among a series of new products — including edibles, extracts and topicals such as lotions — that can be legally sold in Canada as of Tuesday.

Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec have outright banned the sale of cannabis vapes while Nova Scotia will not allow flavoured versions.

Health Canada says that while it has tested the ingredients in cannabis vaping liquids, tests on the vapour emitted when those compounds are heated have not yet been done.

“No legal products are on the market as of today,” Eric Morrissette, a spokesperson for the health agency said in an emailed statement Thursday. “So, there has been no analysis done.”

Products released in midst of vaping illness outbreak

The release of the products comes amid an outbreak of vaping-associated lung illnesses across North America involving cannabis vapes and nicotine e-cigarettes.

As of Dec. 10, 2,409 cases, including 52 deaths, have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in all 50 states this year.

“In the middle of an epidemic in the United States, they still somehow come to the conclusion that there’s nothing to worry about here and we can go ahead and sell cannabis vaping products,” said Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, a respirologist at Toronto Western Hospital and deputy editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“It just really speaks to a complete lack of attention to providing any safeguards here.”

Read full article here.

Adam Miller – CBC News – December 14, 2019.

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