COLUMBUS, Ohio – Patients buying Ohio medical marijuana vape products will start seeing the ingredients on more product labels, in a transparency move amid continuing reports of people becoming sick after using e-cigarettes.
Three licensed processors – Eastlake-based Buckeye Relief, Huron-based Ohio Patients Choice and Standard Wellness in Sandusky County – together decided to disclose ingredients as a way to help patients feel confident that their products are safe.
The companies are members of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association. Three companies in the association with provisional licenses – Calyx Peak Cos., Greenleaf and Pure Ohio Wellness – have also committed to disclose ingredients as their products become available, Thomas Rosenberger, the association’s associate director, said Friday.
Ohio’s budding medical marijuana industry is competitive. Ingredients and trade secrets are often kept tight under wraps.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health reported 32 confirmed cases of people becoming sick after vaping. Twenty-nine had been hospitalized.
Patients ranged in age from 15 to 65, with the median age 21. An additional 32 suspected cases are under investigation.
Public health officials believe most of the cases are associated with vaping illegal THC products. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, is extracted from plant leaves in vape juice.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said interviews with patients have found they are vaping a number of products, but 90 percent said they used an illicit product.
State law prohibits patients from smoking medical marijuana, meaning they can use topical oils and lotions, vape and use edibles.
“Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program has stringent protocols in place to protect minors from accessing vaporable products,” a statement from the industry association said. “It also restricts producers from adding characterizing flavors to products intended for vaporization to reduce the attractiveness of these products to children. Multiple producers have developed high CBD edibles and tinctures specifically to support minor patients suffering from one or more of the state’s 21 approved medical conditions.”