Don’t blame legal cannabis for the vaping health crisis, focus on black market THC

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As health officials learn more about the cause of a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, illicit-market cannabis products have emerged as a primary suspect. Unfortunately, many news reports continue to conflate these illegal products with the highly regulated and compliant products produced by state-licensed operators — sowing confusion that could ultimately strengthen the illicit market and drive more people to dangerous products.

Evidence linking the outbreak to illegal products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of cannabis — continues to pour in from around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated that illegal products obtained “off the street” or from “informal sources,” such as friends and illicit

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