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Oregon Court Blocks State's Ban On Flavored Vape Products Containing Cannabis

Vaping appears to be on the rise. | KRISTIAN FODEN-VENCIL/OPB
November 15, 2019

The Oregon Court of Appeals has blocked the temporary ban on flavored cannabis vaping products.

Last month, the court issued a stay on Gov. Kate Brown’s ban on flavored tobacco vaping products. Now the court has blocked the ban on flavored vaping products that contain cannabis.

Jesse Bontecou with the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association said he’s encouraged.

“We want every decision regulating our industry to be evidentiary based and scientifically based,” said Bontecou.

“And we’re encouraged that the court agreed with that position and thinks that there is a need for a deeper dive into the scientific aspects behind the ban.”

Brown pushed for the flavor ban after two Oregonians died from severe lung illness linked to vaping. So far nationwide, 42 people have died and 2,172 have been sickened across every state except Alaska.

Federal investigators are increasingly focusing on the additive vitamin E acetate as a likely source of the problem, rather than flavors. Flavors have been in use for many years.

Marijuana business Dyme Distribution filed suit against the state over the flavored cannabis ban. It distributes for one of the largest flavored vape cartridge companies in Oregon, Winberry Farms. 

Dyme told the court the ban had caused irreparable harm and it should be suspended until the lawsuit is settled.

“In sum, the court has considered petitioner’s likelihood of success on judicial review, the likelihood of irreparable harm to petitioner absent a stay, and the likelihood of harm to the public if a stay is granted, and concludes that those factors weigh in favor of granting a stay,” read the court order.

The ruling means cannabis stores can now start selling flavored vaping products again while the lawsuit continues.

The Oregon Legislature is likely to look into legislation on the issue next session.