By David Downs, Leafly.
Everyone who shopped for cannabis exclusively in a licensed medical or adult-use store in 2019—give yourself a pat on the back, you’re excused.
As for the rest of you: Sit down.
More than 2,409 people got sick and 52 died from VAPI (vaping associated pulmonary injury, which federal authorities have relabeled EVALI) in 2019. How they got sick and died isn’t a mystery, either.
Investigators traced VAPI back to disposable vaporizer cartridges filled with tainted cannabis oil and purchased off the street in prohibition states and counties.
It’s obviously a success story for the regulated market … That’s maybe the positive takeaway from this whole thing.
– JOSH WURZER, Co-Founder and President, SC Labs
Vape lung injuries, mapped
Don’t let anyone get it twisted: 2019 turned out to make the strongest case ever for regulating cannabis markets. VAPI proved that testing regulations protected cannabis consumers in legal states.
This wasn’t a viral or bacterial infection. VAPI was not an “outbreak.” It was a mass poisoning that resulted from poor quality control of a popular consumer product—akin to bathtub gin, or opioids cut with fentanyl, or baby formula cut with melamine.
A new analysis compiled by Leafly from publicly available data found that…