Cannabis company co-founder calls for more transparency amid vaping investigations, bans

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The co-founder of a cannabis company has warned of the dangers of untested THC-containing products currently available on store shelves and what it means for the industry as health officials urge consumers to stay away from them.

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“There’s a lot of cannabis-related products on shelves in states right now that aren’t tested, and you don’t know what you’re smoking because there are hardly any ingredients on most of the packaging, so you really don’t know what you’re ingesting,” Alex Todd, co-founder of Saucey Farms and Extracts, told Fox News. “It’s pretty dangerous.”

Earlier this month the FDA said several samples tested by individual states and the agency as part of the ongoing investigation into hundreds of cases of lung illnesses linked to vaping revealed products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, were found to have traces of Vitamin E acetate, which is typically present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements. The FDA said because data is limited on the effects of inhaling Vitamin E, it is advised to avoid THC vaping products that may contain it.

Additionally, the FDA said many of the patients who reported lung illnesses said they used a THC vaping product before falling ill. At least seven deaths linked to lung-related illnesses have been reported nationwide. As the investigation continues, President Trump moved to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a ban.

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But Todd disagrees with the ban and instead called for more thorough quality control.

“In California, they test for pesticides, they test for heavy metals… the tests they’re doing in terms of quality control are more rigorous than those for the wine that people drink,” he said. “So the most important thing that people can do is go into their legal dispensaries and actually ask for the test results to see what you’re smoking.

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He compared the products to cigarettes, and said that while “everyone knows cigarettes can kill you, yet, they don’t ban them.”

He instead said that lawmakers should push for more transparency on what people are smoking to let them know what the effects of the products are.

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