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Vaping Epidemic Is Tainting Marijuana Legalization in Minnesota


As marijuana legalization efforts ramp up in Minnesota, opponents cite the current vaping epidemic as a reason not to legalize. Governor Tim Walz has shown support for legalization as have House Democrats. State Representative Ryan Winkler says that regulation of the market is a reason to legalize – to help prevent black market product from hitting the streets.

THC vape products are a subject of concern as some have been in the spotlight lately where THC and nicotine have been combined, the Star Tribune notes. The CDC is still investigating but has drawn some conclusions. This has Minnesota lawmakers rethinking their regulatory process for cannabis products.

Senator Paul Gazelka said, “I hope this slows down the rush by [Gov. Tim Walz] and House Democrats on recreational marijuana. If they see the correlation, that might at least slow down the process.”

Leili Fatehi of Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation said, “It’s worth considering that vaping is a bad delivery device, period. Smoking or inhaling anything is likely to have some kind of health consequence. But vaping is different because of the addition of oils and solvents, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a robust regulatory system at the federal or state level to identify what those ingredients are.”

Regardless of the concern, House Democrats are still expected to push for legalization when the new legislative session begins in February 2020. Multiple people are working on gathering information regarding how to shape the law in Minnesota, including legislative research staff. Lawmakers are also making their opinions known.