The Oregon Court of Appeals today blocked the state's effort to temporarily ban flavored cannabis vapes.
Gov. Kate Brown proposed banning flavored vapes (both nicotine and cannabis) after two Oregonians died and many others fell ill after vaping earlier this fall. Brown directed the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates cannabis, to create and implement rules
On Nov. 1, a cannabis company named Dyme Distribution sued the state over its ban on flavored cannabis vapes. Dyme is the sole distributor for Winberry Farms, a dominant flavored vape cartridge company in Oregon.
Dyme sought judicial review of the OLCC's rules and filed its motion to stay alongside a lawsuit, arguing that the ban has caused irreparable harm to Dyme and that the rules should be put on hold until the lawsuit is hashed out in court.
"In sum, the court has considered petitioner's likelihood of success on judicial review, the likelihood of irreparable harm to petitioner absent a stay, and the likelihood of harm to the public if a stay is granted, and concludes that those factors weigh in favor of granting a stay," the court order read.
The stay comes nearly one month after the court of appeals granted an identical stay to the nicotine vaping industry on Oct. 17. This means that both the nicotine and cannabis industries in Oregon have successfully halted the flavor ban rules.
Andrew DeWeese, one of the lawyers from the Green Light Law Group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of Dyme, tells WW he "applauds" the decision by the court.
"The Court correctly recognized the OLCC could not connect flavors with the lung injuries we're seeing from vaping, and that failing to stay the ban would result in irreparable harm to our client," DeWeese said. "We look forward to public health authorities providing real protection to consumers by identifying the real culprits behind the lung injuries."
For now retailers can re-load their shelves with flavored vapes of both kinds and cannot be penalized for doing so.