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Vaping products, one of the fastest-growing segments of the legal marijuana industry, have taken a hit from consumers as public health experts scramble to determine what's causing a mysterious and sometimes fatal lung disease among people who use e-cigarettes.
The ailment has sickened at least 805 people and killed 12. Some vaped nicotine, but many reported using oil containing THC, marijuana's high-inducing ingredient, and said they bought products from pop-up shops and other illegal sellers. The only death linked to THC vapes bought at legal shops occurred in Oregon.
Health - Scare - Amount - Pot - Industry
Amid the health scare, the amount of the legal pot industry's revenue that comes from vape products has dropped by 15% nationwide, with some states, including Oregon, seeing decreases of more than 60%.
Health officials in California, home to the world's largest legal marijuana marketplace, this week issued an advisory urging people to stop all forms of vaping until a cause is determined. Massachusetts, which like California allows so-called recreational use of marijuana by people 21 and older, went further than any other state, issuing a four-month ban on vape sales.
THC - High - Smoke - Joints - Marijuana
Vaping THC is popular for those desiring quick high without the smoke that comes from lighting up joints. Marijuana companies are trying to boost the public's confidence by promoting that their vaping products are tested by the government, demanding ingredient lists from their vendors and in some cases pulling items from shelves. Some also are scrambling to get liability insurance.
Still, many have seen notable declines in sales in the few weeks since the health scare emerged on a national scale.
Impact - Consumers - David - Alport - Owner
"It's having an impact on how consumers are behaving," said David Alport, owner of Bridge City Collective in Portland, which in two weeks saw a 31% drop in sales of vape cartridges that hold the oil that vaporizes when heated. "People are concerned, and we're...
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