Audio From Oregon Liquor Control Commission Meeting On Vaping Rules

OREGON: Special Oregon Liquor Control Commission Meeting Audio from October 11, 2019: Discussion of Vaping Rules.OLCC Special Meeting Notes

Friday, October 11, 2019

AUDIO

Staff presentation of the issues and 
Commissioners discussion and decision of vaping rules.

For more information, contact: 503-872-5006 / 1-800-452-6522

laura.paul@oregon.gov

Commission Meeting Calendar

OHA, OLCC Ban Flavored Vaping Sales, Including Online

MJLegal

OREGON: The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission today filed temporary rules that put into effect Gov. Kate Brown’s Oct. 4 executive order banning all flavored vaping product sales in the state.

The temporary rules, which will remain in effect for six months starting Oct. 15, prohibit the sale of all flavored vaping products—including online sales—to consumers in Oregon.

The ban covers all tobacco and cannabis (marijuana and hemp) vaping products that contain natural or artificial flavors including, but not limited to, chocolate, coffee, cocoa, menthol, mint, wintergreen, vanilla, honey, coconut, licorice, nuts, fruit, any candy, dessert, alcoholic or non‐alcoholic beverage, herb or spice. Tobacco‐flavored tobacco or nicotine products, as well as marijuana‐flavored marijuana or THC products that use only marijuana‐derived flavorings, including terpenes, are not included in the ban.

Retailers found violating the temporary rules will receive a warning letter and recommendations on coming into compliance. Continued violations could result in civil penalties of up to $500 per day, per violation. In addition, cannabis. In addition, cannabis retailers or processors could face violations up to and including cancellation of their license. Additional components of vaping products could be banned in the future. The Governor’s executive order directs OHA and OLCC to “take immediate action and adopt additional emergency rules” to prohibit any chemical or contaminant found to have caused or contributed to vaping‐associated lung injuries being investigated in Oregon and 48 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are nine cases of this illness in Oregon, including two deaths. OHA and OLCC officials say the temporary rules filed today are significant steps toward stemming the well‐documented tide of e‐cigarette use and vaping by youth, as well as keeping products that may expose people to unsafe chemicals and other contaminants off store shelves. Among Oregon high school students who use e‐cigarettes exclusively, nearly 90% use flavored e‐cigarette products, OHA found.

And there is strong evidence that e-cigarettes increase youth nicotine addiction and increase the risk that youth will start using combustible tobacco such as cigarettes. “We have been warning Oregonians about the health effects of these products before this current outbreak of serious lung injury added more evidence of the dangers of vaping,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist. “These rules stop the sale of a potentially dangerous product, and they’re part of a comprehensive approach to curbing youth vaping and additional cases of vaping‐associated lung injuries.”

He points to additional directives in the Governor’s executive order that call on OHA and OLCC to develop consumer warnings for THC and non‐THC products; expand easy access to FDA‐approved cessation resources; implement a statewide prevention and education campaign; and submit legislative proposals with long‐ term solutions to reduce public health harms from vaping.

The temporary rules affect not only OLCC recreational marijuana licensed retailers and processors, but also alcohol licensees that sell nicotine vaping products, including retailers that sell beer and wine, bars and taverns, and liquor store agents. The OLCC said the flavor ban is just the latest step in its evolution from focusing on public safety to an agency with an equivalent focus on consumer protection. Through increased review of products sold in the OLCC‐licensed retail market and the development of testing capacity, the OLCC will continue to work to refine consumer product disclosure.

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“This Commission is working very hard to ensure the cannabis industry can grow, thrive and compete in the Oregon marketplace,” said Paul Rosenbaum, chair of the OLCC. “We are doing so with a clear focus on the integrity of the marketplace for businesses, consumers and public safety. However, it is our overwhelming responsibility to protect public health and our consumers from undue risk. This agency’s rapid and nimble action to implement the Governor’s executive order is exactly why regulated cannabis will always be a superior consumer choice over illegal markets.” Additional rules were filed earlier this week. On Wednesday, OHA filed temporary rules that require health care providers to report hospitalizations and deaths due to “vaping‐associated lung injury.” Physicians have long had to report “uncommon illness of potential public health significance,” but the new rules are intended to reduce confusion by specifically naming this new lung illness as reportable by Oregon law to public health agencies. Due to the ongoing investigation of vaping‐associated lung injuries, OHA health officials continue to recommend people stop vaping immediately.

Those experiencing symptoms of the illnesses, such as shortness of breath, cough or chest pain should immediately seek medical attention. Those needing help quitting vaping cannabis and nicotine can take advantage of a variety of cessation services, including the Oregon Quit Line, Truth Initiative, Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Helpline, and SAMHSA’s National Helpline.

OLCC Action on Governor Brown’s Vaping Executive Order

Commission Will Meet to Pass Emergency Temporary Rules

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will meet next week to act on the Executive Order on the Vaping Public Health Crisis issued today by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.  The Governor’s order directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the OLCC to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives that public health investigators link to the vaping-related illness.

Governor Brown emphasized protecting Oregonians’ health as the primary focus of her action, by removing possibly unsafe products from the marketplace, discouraging vaping by children and youth, and reducing human exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals.

Brown further encouraged Oregonians to stop using vaping products until more is known about the cause of the respiratory illness.  The Governor also called on the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to step in to regulate flavored vaping products and additives.

The order directs both agencies to enact a 180-day ban on all flavored vaping products and to develop plans within 90 days to address consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping, vaping product ingredient disclosure, product safety tests of vaping equipment, improved health care provider reporting of vaping lung injuries to OHA, and creating a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products.

The Governor is also asking the agencies to develop proposals for long-term solutions to present to the Legislature during the 2020 legislative session.  Governor Brown will include the OLCC in a Vaping Public Health Workgroup tasked with studying the vaping illness crisis and making recommendations to the legislature.

“We will act quickly on the Governor’s directive to address this growing public health crisis,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.  “The OLCC will utilize the real-time findings of public health officials here in Oregon and across the country as they continue their investigation into the cause of the vaping respiratory illness outbreak.  We’ll let scientists guide us as we contemplate taking additional actions with a measured approach.”

The OLCC Commission will act on temporary rules proposing to ban licensed marijuana retailers from selling any cannabinoid (marijuana and hemp) products containing any flavor, including non-marijuana terpenes.  In this interpretation the OLCC does not include terpenes derived from marijuana as a “flavor.”  The temporary rule will also prohibit licensed processors from manufacturing or distributing those same products.

After the Commission acts the OLCC will provide further guidance to licensees about taking inventory of flavored or non-marijuana terpene-containing products, removing them from retail store shelves and setting those items aside.  The OLCC will make compliance checks at licensed processors and retailers to make sure affected product is not being offered for sale.

Washington Gov Inslee Issues Executive Order Changing How State Will Regulate Vaping Industry

WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee announced an executive order at a Seattle press conference Friday that changes how agencies will regulate, monitor, and communicate about a variety of vaping products. Other state leaders, including Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Washington State Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman, joined him at the event.

“We aren’t waiting for Big Tobacco to tell us what is in their products,” Inslee said. “We aren’t going to take health guidance from them, because we know that their goals are to make money and create new customers. That is what they are interested in. We are interested in ensuring that adults and young people have known and regulated ingredients in vaping products. Everyone deserves to know what is in the vaping liquid they are inhaling into their lungs.”

The announcement comes after medical professionals reported seven cases of severe lung illness in Washington from vaping devices or e-cigarette products. The Center for Disease Control has reported at least 12 deaths nationwide, as well as more than 800 cases of lung injury possibly related to these products.

Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.