Will Puerto Rico’s medicinal cannabis sales be affected by the vaping crisis?
The “vaping crisis” in the U.S. has led to a large decrease in market value for the top cannabis companies. Forbes reports close to a $10 billion drop as of now. Could this affect the medicinal cannabis industry in Puerto Rico?
What is the vaping crisis?
According to the CDC, over 380 cases of lung illnesses have occurred as a result of e-cigarettes, which included six fatalities. Dr. Paul Bonucci, medical director of the emergency department at Illinois Valley Community Hospital, urges everyone to “pay attention to that.”
There hasn’t been a single device or product linked to all of the illnesses, but many of the patients reported having used THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high.
This actually points to one of the major issues with vaping in the U.S. According to Jazsmine Farley of Boss Vapes, many consumers are purchasing empty cartridges and filling them with their own homemade products. These products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) launched a multi-state investigation into the illnesses and fatalities on August 1st. This begun what is known to the cannabis companies as the “vaping crisis.”
Learn more about the investigation by clicking here.
How exactly has the vaping crisis affected cannabis companies?
Four of the largest cannabis companies are Tilray, Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, and Cronos Group. All four of these companies have decreased by nearly $10 billion in market value since the investigation began.
The vaping crisis on the media has also led to many health scares throughout the U.S.. Unfortunately, many cannabis investors have been hesitant to keep investing for fear that products are dangerous. This could have detrimental consequences on sales, especially when Canada legalizes vaping products.
Some states in the U.S. have legalized recreational use of marijuana. In these states, vaping makes up between 10% to 25% of the market. As a result, it’s clearly been a problem that many are shying away from vaping recently.
What does the crisis mean for the top cannabis companies?
It’s pretty certain that cannabis will become a very large industry in the future. But these top companies have only recently become public. The vaping crisis is just one of many challenges they will face.
As Morningstore analyst Kristoffer Inton says, “In the long run, [the vaping crisis] is just a bump in the road.” Inton believes that the cannabis market will actually grow best from products like edibles and beverages.
Will the U.S. vaping crisis affect medicinal cannabis in Puerto Rico?
It’s possible that the vaping crisis the U.S. will have an impact on the medicinal cannabis industry in Puerto Rico. Just last month, Health Secretary Rafael Rodríguez Mercado stated he is considering banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
Rodríguez Mercado’s announcement comes after President Donald Trump enforced this ban in the states because of the recent deaths. The U.S. Health Secretary, Alex Azar, also agreed with Trump. According to Azar, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will also be enforcing that ban in the near future.
Rodríguez Mercado said, “Parallel to federal dispositions that President Trump could implement in regard to the sales ban for these products, locally we maintain vigilant of the possible actions that we could take to implement more rigorous measures ahead of what could represent a life threat to thousands of Puerto Ricans”
Right now, the use of e-cigarettes is allowed in Puerto Rico as long as users are following the guidelines of the Medicinal Act. You can read more about the act here.
It is possible, however, that medicinal cannabis use in Puerto Rico will be banned when it is in the form of e-cigarettes. This will, of course, have an impact on dispensaries as well as consumers.