Massachusetts cannabis company Temescal Wellness has announced it will destroy $2.6 million of previously quarantined vape cartridges following a decision by the Cannabis Control Commission to allow for the sale of cartridges that were quarantined last year.
Temescal Wellness, a vertically integrated company with locations in Framingham, Hudson and Pittsfield, said employees decided as a team that destroying the cartridges was the right thing to do.
“We got together as a team, and asked, what’s the right thing to do here? We’ve always followed our safety and sanitation standards throughout the growing, processing, manufacturing, and selling of our cannabis products,” said CEO Ted Rebholz.
Last year, the state banned vape sales for several months as consumers started getting sick with lung illnesses. Sales of newly manufactured vape products resumed in December. Vitamin E acetate has been found in vapes and has been identified as a chemical associated lung injury, or EVALI.
More than 600,000 vaporizer products manufactured by Massachusetts marijuana businesses before sales resumed on Dec. 12 remained in quarantine.
“Although the state’s vaping ban did negatively impact our business, we support the assertion that there may be testing parameter gaps,” Rebholz said. “Importantly we recognize this is not suitable for our guests. Our team members are some of our most important customers, and the consensus was clear, these products are not representative of the brand we’ve built.”
While vaping continues to be a popular method of cannabis consumption, Linda Katz, the vice president of sales and marketing at Temescal Wellness, said that vape sales are down 24% while consumption of marijuana flower remains consistent and the use of edibles and concentrates increases.
“Our customers come to our stores with the confidence that they know our product quality is consistent and produced with high standards. We’ve always had this at the core of our company’s values, and that doesn’t change when faced with tough decisions,” Katz said. “We intend to maintain our focus on providing products to our guests that improve their quality of life, and continuing to be good stewards of the communities we operate in.”
New vape cartridges, and a range of other products, are available at Temescal’s three locations.
Earlier this month, the Cannabis Control Commission announced that marijuana companies would be able to retest and release, or destroy, cartridges that were quarantined since last year’s ban. The decision followed three phases of testing and a public comment period.