Governors, public health officials meet to discuss cannabis, vaping regulations

Dan Levy
Updated: October 17, 2019 07:34 PM
Created: October 17, 2019 05:43 PM

NEW YORK CITY - With a 78-percent increase in just one year in e-cigarette use among teenagers, Governor Andrew Cuomo calls it one of the most challenging issues he's had to address.

"It is complicated. It is controversial, and it is consequential," Cuomo stated.


Consequential, the governor says, because if you don't fix it the right way you can cause a great deal of harm. That's why he invited governors and public health officials from neighboring states to a Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Summit in New York City on Thursday.

"The federal government in situations like this would normally be helpful," the governor stated. "In theory, the federal government is supposed to get involved on issues that go beyond one state's borders. That is not happening."

"We need to bring this into the open," says Governor Tom Wolf (D - Pennsylvania), "We need regulation. We need to make sure we're protecting public health and public safety."

In other words, they're talking about regulation and not necessarily prohibition.

"We really are talking about two enormous health challenges," says Governor Phil Murphy (D - New Jersey), "and as we see through the New Jersey lens, we've got an exploding vaping reality among youth."

Under consideration at the summit: banning the sale of flavored vape products, restricting online purchasing, and increasing penalties for unauthorized sales.

Ari Hoffnung, the Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health International, a New York state cannabis company, calls the summit "absolutely terrific."

"We hope [Thursday's] gathering inspires other states and other regulators to collaborate on cannabis policy," Hoffnung stated. "And most importantly, it paves the way for federal regulation."

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