April 3, 2020 City Council, City of Redwood City 1017 Middlefield Road Redwood City, CA 94063
Honorable Mayor Howard 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 any proposed ban on flavored vaping and smoking products produced and sold by licensed cannabis retailers.
Particularly during this time of the COVID-19 crisis, the County should prioritize health and safety by combatting the sale of unlicensed, untested products.
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 o f 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 that appropriately addresses nicotine vape and cannabis vape issues independently of each other, to safeguard public health while also supporting a responsible, regulated cannabis industry. We urge you to reject any proposal which will hurt – and not help – public health. Sincerely, Legal Cannabis for Consumer Safety 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