Ban On Flavored Vape Products Stayed by Oregon Court

On October 4 2019, Governor Kate Brown announced plans to implement a temporary six-month ban on flavored vape cartridges, which went into effect two days ago, on October 15. Today, a state appeals court put a halt to that ban.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a statement this afternoon on the decision, which said, in part:

“The Oregon Health Authority has been informed that the Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay of OHA’s rules that ban the sale of flavored vaping products. This decision means the rules are, for now, not in effect; the agency is communicating with its partners, including local public health authorities and other state agencies, that enforcement of the rules will be temporarily suspended.”

This is good news if you’re a liquid nicotine fan who likes piña colada vapes (and getting caught in the rain), but the appeals court ruling has no impact on cannabis.

The challenge was filed yesterday by a e-cigarette industry group known as Vapor Technology Association, who said they would “suffer severe and irreparable harm long before the (ban) can be subjected to full judicial review,” per the Oregonian.

(It’s interesting to note that no Oregon cannabis industry trade groups filed similar challenges—perhaps because cannabis can taste great on its own without artificial flavors.)

Two plaintiffs in the challenge said that the ban would have “[forced] the permanent closure of their businesses within the next two weeks.”

The O‘s report says that “Oregon regulators lack the legal standing to enforce the governor’s ban,” and that it would force people who vape to get their stuff from the black market.

I’m not a tobacco user in traditional or nicotine-cartridge form, so I can’t speak to the plaintiffs’ claim of “promoting vapers to the black market,” but it seems the wide variety and easy access of flavoring agents from online sellers would allow people to simply add flavorings of their choice to unflavored nicotine carts.

But one plaintiff, the owner of two Division Vapors stores in Portland, said that overturning the ban had temporarily saved 10 jobs at his business, which is a positive outcome. We’ll continue to monitor and report on how this ruling stands up.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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