• LCCS Admin

Letter to Berkeley City Council

January 27, 2020

Berkeley City Council

2180 Milvia Street

Berkeley, CA 94704


Dear Mayor Arreguin and Councilmembers:


We are Legal Cannabis for Consumer Safety (LCCS), a coalition representing California’s largest licensed cannabis growers, manufacturers, associations, retailers, testing labs, advocates, and marketplaces. LCCS is the regulated cannabis industry’s unified voice on consumer safety issues, and is committed to understanding the causes of lung illnesses associated with vaping and implementing fact-based responses. We write to respectfully urge the Council to reject the proposed ban on flavored vaping and smoking products produced and sold by licensed cannabis retailers.


Vaping illnesses are caused by illegal vapes. The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that EVALI illness cases are linked to products obtained from unlicensed, illicit market sources. These tainted products include dangerous additives used as cutting agents, diluents, or thickeners. CannaSafe, a licensed testing facility in California, tested more than 100 unlicensed market cannabis goods and found high levels of pesticides in all samples, and vitamin E acetate in the vast majority. None of the 100 licensed products tested by CannaSafe contained these dangerous substances.


Not a single EVALI case in California is tied to licensed cannabis vapes. Licensed cannabis vapes sold through licensed retailers are among the most highly-regulated consumer products in California. All packaging and marketing, for example, is regulated by the Bureau of Cannabis Control and the California Department of Health to ensure product names, logos, and advertising do not appeal to minors. Licensed retailers and delivery services have rigorous protocols in place to prevent underage consumption – including, but not limited to, geofencing and age-gating that only allow entry to adults 21+. This oversight is in sharp contrast to tobacco products and the illicit cannabis market.


Banning characterizing flavors in cannabis ignores science. Terpenes in cannabis provide aroma and offer therapeutic benefits. Terpenes naturally occur in the cannabis plant, and are often added into products during formulation. Given their naturally occurring presence in the plant and importance to the formulation and viscosity of oil concentrates, terpenes should not be misconstrued as added or characterizing flavors.


Bans on legal cannabis vapes drive consumers to use illegal vapes. Banning legal, tested, compliant products is not the answer. The data speaks for itself — there are higher rates of vaping illnesses in municipalities and states where consumers do not have access to safe, legal, tested cannabis vape products. In Utah, where these products are not legal, EVALI illness rates were 38 cases per million people, versus 2.1 cases per million people in Colorado (where regulated vapes are accessible).


The State is working on a comprehensive policy to protect consumer safety, as a result of the Governor’s Executive Order issued on September 16, 2019. California State lawmakers and public health officials are developing state-wide vaping policy to safeguard public health while supporting a responsible, regulated cannabis industry.


We urge you to reject this proposal which will hurt – and not help – public health.


Sincerely,

Legal Cannabis for Consumer Safety

www.calccs.org | info@calccs.org


Anthony Law Group

Dosist

Legion of Bloom

sclabs

Artemis Growth Partners

Eaze

Level

Se7enLeaf

Austin Legal Group

Eden

LoudPack

Select

AVD

Farmacy Santa Barbara

Lowell Herb Co.

Sherbinskis

Bloom Farms

Field

Mammoth Distribution

Skunk Feather Cannabis

BPG

Flow Kana

Mario Antonio

Solo Sciences Inc

Brite Labs

Flower Co

Meadow

Sonoma Lab Works

CA4EA

Fumé

Moxie

Sparc

Caliva

Genius

MPP

SVCA

Cannabis Connect

Glass House Farms

NCIA

Terra Tech

CannaCraft

Gold Coast Industries

New Leaf Family Farms

The Werc Shop

Cannalysis

Harborside

Norcal Cannabis

Therapy Tonics & Provisions

CannaSafe

Harvest

Old Pal

Utopia

CCIA

Headstash

Paradise Gardens

Venice Cookie Co.

CCMA

Honey Vape

PAX

Xtractor Depot

Central Coast Agriculture

Humboldt's Finest

Pineapple Express

Yvette McDowell

Certus Analytics

Island

Pluto

Chillum

Jetty Extracts

Potters Cannabis Co.

Coastal Growers Association

Kingpen

Puffy Delivery

Connected Cannabis Co.

Kiva

Pure

Cresco Labs

La Vida Verde

Raw Garden

Cru

Ocean Cannabis Co.

Rioverde

Henry G. Wykowski & Associates

Law Office of Kimberly R. Simms

UCBA

A Therapeutic Alternative

CDA

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