This year’s alarming wave of vaping-associated pulmonary injury has already made up to 530 people sick and killed as many as six people. If you use disposable vaporizer cartridges, how can you make sure that the one you’re puffing on is safe?
While there are no foolproof methods (even well-regulated markets sometimes have recalls), there are many ways to reduce the risk of consuming a contaminated product. Read on to learn how you can spot a fake or contaminated vape cartridge.
When it comes to avoiding dangerous vape carts, the number one piece of advice we heard from the experts was to avoid the illicit market.
“My honest opinion is to make sure to purchase vape carts from a licensed dispensary,” says Neil Dellacava, buyer at California cannabis brand Gold Seal. “I would just completely avoid buying cartridges from anyone that isn’t licensed.”
Licensed products are much safer, but not completely safe
From cannabis industry professionals, to testing lab experts, to California’s consumer affairs and public health agencies, everyone we spoke to reiterated the point that cannabis from the legal market is likely to be safer given factors like increased accountability and the rigorous testing required by state law . In addition, as California Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Lindsay Robinson points out: “It is important to note that no cannabis vaping products purchased at licensed cannabis businesses have been linked to these illnesses.”
If you want to play it safe, stick to the regulated medical cannabis programs in your state, or use the legal, recreational cannabis markets in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Illinois has voted to allow adult-use cannabis stores, but they aren’t legally able to open until Jan. 1, 2020. The adult-use legalization states of Maine and Vermont do not yet have state-licensed stores and hence, no lab-tested products.