Appeals Court Judge Overturns Pennsylvania's Controversial Vape Recall: Cannabis Companies Cheer, Health Dept. Appeals

A Commonwealth Court judge ruled to allow Pennsylvania medical marijuana companies to resume selling vapes, taken off the market upon request of the Department Of Health last February.

In his 27-page opinion, Commonwealth Court Judge Michael J. Wojcik wrote that state regulators “failed to present any evidence to the court of potential harm to medical marijuana patients due to the recalled products, or more specifically due to the addition of terpenes to these products." Terpenes are natural chemicals taken from other plants and fruits that are used to restore flavors and aromas that the concentrate extraction process destroys.

Some of the lawyers for the cannabis companies that sued state regulators said they were thrilled about the decision.

Medical Marijuana Access And Patient Safety Group

After the PA Department of Health mandated the massive recall and ban of 670 types of cannabis concentrate for vaping — 330,000 units - some of the companies involved formed a group called Medical Marijuana Access & Patient Safety Inc. (MMAPS) to fight the recall in court, claiming it was unfounded.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. CURLF, Jushi Holdings Inc. JUSH, and Trulieve Cannabis Corp.TCNNF, who were part of the group, said they were facing more than $17 million in collective losses from the recall. Also, they said that some of their products have since expired.

Jim Cacioppo, CEO of Florida-based Jushi Holdings, a leading MMJ operator in PA, said in the statement that the order should “deliver the peace of mind" that these MMJ products did not present the health risks the Health Dept. had alleged.

“In fact, the court noted the Department itself (previously) approved the recalled products for patient use following stringent quality and safety testing and found no evidence of a single adverse event related to any recalled product,” Cacioppo said.

Lead counsel for the group, Judith Cassel, encouraged the PA Dept of Health to “discuss expeditiously resolving this matter in advance of a protracted litigation process.”

The Health Department did not respond but rather announced that it will appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. 

So, stay tuned, it's not over yet.
Photo By Sasun Bughdaryan On Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentRegulationsMarketsCommonwealth CourtCuraleaf Holdings Inc.Jushi Holdings Inc.Medical Marijuana Access And Patient Safety Inc.Michael J. WojcikPennsylvania Department of HealthPennsylvania Supreme CourtTrulieve Cannabis Corp.
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