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Health News Florida

Department of Agriculture's Top Attorney: 'Hole' In Regulation For CBD Vape Products Causes Concern

A researcher holds a Yolo! brand CBD vape oil cartridge and its packaging at Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Ore., on July 17, 2019. Authorities blamed Yolo for sending people to emergency rooms in Utah, saying it contained a dangerous synthetic marijuana. The cartridge pictured here was provided to The Associated Press by a South Carolina man who says he nearly died after puffing it. Testing commissioned by AP shows it contained the same synthetic marijuana that caused the illnesses in Utah.
A researcher holds a Yolo! brand CBD vape oil cartridge and its packaging at Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Ore., on July 17, 2019. Authorities blamed Yolo for sending people to emergency rooms in Utah, saying it contained a dangerous synthetic marijuana. The cartridge pictured here was provided to The Associated Press by a South Carolina man who says he nearly died after puffing it. Testing commissioned by AP shows it contained the same synthetic marijuana that caused the illnesses in Utah.
A researcher holds a Yolo! brand CBD vape oil cartridge and its packaging at Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Ore., on July 17, 2019. Authorities blamed Yolo for sending people to emergency rooms in Utah, saying it contained a dangerous synthetic marijuana. The cartridge pictured here was provided to The Associated Press by a South Carolina man who says he nearly died after puffing it. Testing commissioned by AP shows it contained the same synthetic marijuana that caused the illnesses in Utah.
Credit Ted Warren / AP Photo
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A researcher holds a Yolo! brand CBD vape oil cartridge and its packaging at Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Ore., on July 17, 2019. Authorities blamed Yolo for sending people to emergency rooms in Utah, saying it contained a dangerous synthetic marijuana. The cartridge pictured here was provided to The Associated Press by a South Carolina man who says he nearly died after puffing it. Testing commissioned by AP shows it contained the same synthetic marijuana that caused the illnesses in Utah.

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s chief attorney says CBD vape products are completely unregulated in the state, causing concern at the agency. Steven Hall, the agency’s general counsel, says that concern has been amplified by recent nationwide headlines reporting health problems linked to vaping.

Discussing it with DBPR, they have made it very clear to us that their regulation over anything vaped ends with tobacco products. And our (FDACS) limitations regarding CBD as a food, ends with ingestion,” Hall told the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee Thursday. “So I would suggest that there appears to a be a hole in the regulation.”

Hall says the Department of Agriculture has 'started conversations’ with lawmakers to notify them of the issue. He says the law creating Florida’s hemp program is what’s limiting the regulation – so it can’t be fixed in the rulemaking process.

Melissa Villar, who works in the Tallahassee office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, warned the advisory committee of putting too many restrictions on hemp flower.

She cautions a “rash of additives” can be introduced to vape products through the extraction process hemp must go through to make them.

“Everybody jumping into the industry through extraction and wanting to provide vaping products and so forth, are inexperienced,” Villar said. “The safest and the most pure form of cannabis is through the flower. So, any type of restriction is going to endanger consumer safety and public health.”

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