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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Vape Review

What prompted the recent Pennsylvania medical marijuana vape review last month? Plus, why were growers and processors given so little time to comply? Read on for details.

This November, Pennsylvania medical marijuana growers and processors were informed by the state’s Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program that certain products must undergo a statewide review. More specifically, medical marijuana vape products that contained additional ingredients must pass this review even if they’d previously been approved. 

Just a day after the review deadline, medical marijuana patients received an email informing them about the review, that some of these products “may not be safe for inhalation,” and that unsafe products would be recalled if they were found to be unsafe. Both of these events were unexpected, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health is keeping the details private. 

This leaves many consumers concerned, but it also left many businesses scrambling and scratching their heads. Why was this review necessary? Why were they given so little time to comply? Read on for more information.

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Vape Review

We understand how urgent this information might be. Here’s a breakdown of what we’re covering today...

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health gave the state’s medical marijuana growers and processors just two weeks to comply with an order to submit vape products with “additional ingredients” for review.
  • Noncompliance could mean penalties including the suspension of whole lines of vape products. 
  • The day after the review deadline, medical cannabis patients received an email informing them of the review. 
  • It also told patients that any products found to be unsafe would be recalled. However, “In the interim, you should be aware that products with added ingredients may not be safe for inhalation and you should make your own decision about whether to use these products.”
  • Consumers are now concerned about whether their products are safe and businesses had to scramble to comply with this unexpected order.
  • The state’s Health Department is staying quiet about the motive for this review and could not be reached when we attempted to contact them for details.
  • However, the email to consumers stated that the review was for “vaporized products containing added ingredients such as externally sourced flavorings or terpenes.” 
  • As frustrating as this unexpected review is, providing consumers with products that are safe and effective should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. That’s why manufacturers should only rely on botanical terpenes that have undergone rigorous testing for quality, purity, and potency.

Pennsylvania Vape Recall? | What Really Happened?

On November 16th, the Pennsylvania Department of Health sent an email to the state’s growers and processors ordering a statewide review of all vaporized medical marijuana products with “additional ingredients.” This would even apply to products that had already been approved and operators only had until November 30th to comply.

At 11:12 p.m. on December 1st, just one day after the review deadline, medical cannabis patients received an email informing them of the review. It stated that the review was for “vaporized products containing added ingredients such as externally sourced flavorings or terpenes.” 

It also told patients that they would recall any products found to be unsafe, but “In the interim, you should be aware that products with added ingredients may not be safe for inhalation and you should make your own decision about whether to use these products.” Patients are now left wondering whether the products they have are safe.

Additionally, in an interview with Pittsburgh City Paper, Meredith Buettner—the executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition—noted that the email address used to communicate this message with patients is seldom used (with the exception of ID renewal notices). “It was unprecedented and scared a lot of people.”

Bottom line? A lot of people are left shaking their heads and wondering what’s going on.

Why is the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Vape Review Necessary?

Unfortunately, there’s still quite a bit of mystery surrounding this review. While the situation suggests new information has come to light about previously acceptable ingredients, the Department of Health has yet to confirm that. 

We attempted to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding the review and which ingredients were under scrutiny. They could not be reached for details, but that seems to be a common occurrence. Indeed, several organizations have struggled to get additional information about the review. So, what are possible reasons regulators required a review?

The email to medical cannabis patients states that additional flavoring ingredients are being reviewed. The “externally sourced flavorings” text could indicate a wide variety of ingredients, but terpenes were directly mentioned. 

This wouldn’t be the first time that terpenes were called into question. Just a few years ago, the FDA banned synthetic beta-myrcene as a preliminary precaution. The keyword there, however, is “synthetic” as opposed to botanical terpenes or cannabis-derived terpenes. Synthetic terpenes are created in a lab through chemical manipulation and blending, while botanical terpenes are distilled directly from plant matter. 

Unfortunately, we still don’t know precisely which ingredients (terpenes or otherwise) the Pennsylvania Health Department is concerned with. 

Always Rely on High-Quality Ingredients for Vape Products

What we DO know, is that Pennsylvania is concerned about consumer safety. As frustrating as this unexpected review must be, providing consumers with products that are safe and effective should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. 

That being said, when it comes to terpenes, you should always keep the following in mind:

  • Ensure high-quality plant matter is used in the distillation process.
  • Make sure terpenes are undiluted by PG, VG, MCT, or coconut oil.
  • Use solvent-less terpenes that are free of heavy metals and pesticides.
  • Work with facilities that follow HAACP & ISO 9001 standards
  • Use GMO-free, filler-free, and food-grade terpenes.

These standards ensure your consumers aren’t inhaling vape products with harmful ingredients. If you’re ever in doubt about any of these items, reach out to your terpene manufacturer today for clarification.

Abstrax Tech Takes Consumer Safety Seriously

Our terpene experts have spent years developing the best processes for botanical extraction. We’re proud to have built a client roster of loyal brands that trust these processes, but none of that would have been possible without our high-quality, ultra-pure terpenes. 

We have the most complex terpene profiles on the market and adhere to rigorous processing SOPs to provide you with consistent flavor profiles your customers can trust. We love this industry. That’s why we want innovators like you to have the necessary tools and information to continue growing and thriving. 

Contact us today if you have any questions about our products and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for all the latest updates.


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