Following a months-long review of vape products sold by Pennsylvania’s licensed cannabis operators, the state’s Department of Health (DOH) has issued a sprawling mandatory recall.

The list includes hundreds of vape products from PurePenn, PennAlt Organics, Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, MLH Explorations, Insa, Ilera Healthcare, Holistic Farms, Hanging Gardens, GTI Pennsylvania, Goodblend Pennsylvania, Franklin Labs, Curaleaf PA, Cresco Yeltrah, CannTech PA, Agri-Kind, and AES Compassionate Care. 

“After finishing this review, the Department has determined that certain vaporized medical marijuana products containing some added ingredients have not been approved for inhalation by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” according to the Feb. 4 memo. “Although some of these added ingredients may be considered safe in other non-inhaled products, patient safety is the top priority of the Medical Marijuana Program. Therefore, the Department has issued a mandatory recall for all affected vaporized products.” 

The review in question was first announced to the public on Dec. 1. The DOH targeted vape products “state-wide” to gather information on whether “added ingredients” were present in those products—some of which were being sold on dispensary shelves. Back on Nov. 16, the DOH had sent a message to all licensed cannabis business owners, asking for them to submit all vape products containing added ingredients for review (even those that had already passed state testing).

No rationale was provided for the review, although communication from the DOH referenced additive regulations in other states—presumably referring to regulations that may allow certain additives outside of Pennsylvania.

In a follow-up message to business owners, sent from Sunny D. Podolak, Assistant Director and Chief Compliance Officer with the DOH’s Office of Medical Marijuana, on Dec. 13, the phrase “additives” was qualified as artificial terpenes or flavorings.”

Little information followed, confusing business owners and patients alike

The Feb. 4 recall, however, did not elaborate on which ingredients were triggering the review or, indeed, triggering the mandatory recall.

“If you have previously used these recalled products, please consult with the medical professional at the dispensary to help identify which alternative products may be appropriate for you,” the Department of Health said in an email sent to all medical marijuana patients statewide. “We are committed to your continued access to safe and effective medical marijuana products.”   

This is a developing story, and will be updated with new information.