The Oregon Court of Appeals today denied the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's request to allow the agency to implement new rules prohibiting the sale, manufacture and use of flavored cannabis vapes.
The OLCC, the agency that regulates cannabis, asked the court to reconsider its halt on the rules on Nov. 15. That was just one day after the court halted a temporary ban on the sale of cannabis vapes in response to a motion from cannabis company.
The 'motion to stay' was part of an overall lawsuit filed by Dyme Distribution on Nov. 1 that argues the state did not go through proper rulemaking process and therefore the ban should be lifted.
The stay the court granted will remain in effect until full judicial review of the lawsuit opposing the state's temporary ban on flavored vapes concludes.
Gov. Kate Brown directed the OLCC and the Oregon Health Authority to develop and implement rules restricting the sale of all flavored vaping devices on Oct. 4. The rules went into effect on Oct. 15. Two days after the rules were finalized, the tobacco industry successfully halted the prohibition of flavored nicotine vapes by filing a 'motion to stay.'
In the state's request to reconsider on Nov. 15, the state argued that the lack of a clear explanation for the mysterious vaping-related lung injuries across the country was reason enough to halt the use of all vapes.
"The [court] reasons that since there is no showing that flavored cannabis products in particular are implicated in the injury outbreak, there has been no showing of a risk to the public from their use," the Oregon Department of Justice wrote on behalf of the OLCC. "That is a mistake, and one that endangers the public. It is undisputed that vaping products are causing the injuries, and that cannabis vaping products in particular have been linked with most (but not all) of the injuries."
The lawyers representing Dyme argue the state's decision to implement a ban on vaping products is not grounded in any scientific evidence.
Kevin Jacoby, one of Dyme's attorneys with the Green Light Law Group, tells WW the court's denial of OLCC's request is a relief for cannabis retailers.
"Practically speaking, this means that the stay will remain in effect for at least six months," Jacoby says. "This will allow affected businesses time to sell through their inventory and transition their product lines away from non-cannabis terpenes, if they wish to do so."