A legal challenge has resulted in the reversal of an order that removed hundreds of medical cannabis vaping products in Pennsylvania.
In February this year, regulators in Pennsylvania recalled hundreds of medical marijuana vaping products after a statewide review; alleging they contained ingredients not approved for inhalation.
“Although some of these added ingredients may be considered safe in other non-inhaled products, patient safety is the top priority of the Medical Marijuana Program,” said the state’s Department of Health at the time. “Therefore, the Department has issued mandatory recall for all affected vaporized products.”
It sent the local market for vaping products into a meltdown, and deprived many patients of the products they were accustomed to using.
The industry then when into battle, seeking to reverse the order. Just a few days later, Medical Marijuana Access & Patient Safety, Inc. (MMAPS) filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court seeking to stay the actions of the Department. The coalition of patients and industry participants said:
“This action has needlessly alarmed thousands of medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania, who rely on these products for personal medical needs.”
The suit also alleged patient safety was compromised as the Department’s action immediately deprived access to critical medications without consideration for a supply of cannabis-based alternatives.
MMAPS succeeded in the suit last week, with the Commonwealth Court finding the Department of Health failed to present any evidence of potential harm to patients from the recalled products.
According to cannabis company Jushi, which was impacted by the recall:
“Under Pennsylvania law, all medical marijuana products, including the recalled vaporization products, are subject to rigorous, redundant safety and quality testing and Department approval before they can be manufactured or dispensed. As to the recalled products specifically, DOH was neither able to cite a safety or quality testing deficiency nor a single adverse event relating to any recalled products.”
The company said the decision was a win for patients, their families and caregivers across the state, and that it would have affected products back on shelves across the state within days.
While the Department of Health may have been acting on the “precautionary principle”, sometimes that simply won’t cut it once lawyers get involved.