Cannabis Vape Product Additives Under Scrutiny in Oregon Photo by Thorn Yang from Pexels
December 22, 2020

A press release issued last week by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), which oversees the state’s licensed cannabis market, alerted the public to new findings in the agency’s continued efforts investigating vape products in the wake of injuries and deaths caused by such items last year. The press release states, “[OLCC] has identified that marijuana products sold in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market during the last two years contained additives, squalene and squalane, that have been linked to safety concerns similar to Vitamin E Acetate when vaped and inhaled.”

The presence of the two terpenes noted above has been linked to a diluent used in vape products manufactured and sold in Oregon’s legal cannabis market. OLCC notes that some of the product in question remains on the market and that the agency is working to trace and remove it. Certain products known to contain the additive in question were sold as recently as October 2020.

The press release also notes that the OLCC planned to address the issue at its December Commission meeting, which took place on Thursday, December 17. OLCC proposed to declare squalene and squalane as adulterants, which would trigger a mandatory health and safety recall for any products containing them. OLCC has also proposed rules establishing greater transparency and accountability regarding non-cannabis ingredients in vape products manufactured and sold in the registered market.

Continuing investigations and actions on the matter of additives in vape products in Oregon indicate that at least some product will be removed from circulation. Additionally, it appears likely that product manufacturers will face additional requirements to consider when formulating and producing vape products, which could increase production costs.