In the first West Coast regulatory backlash against vaping, on Monday, September 16, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring stronger regulation of vaping in the state. While Newsom’s order does not go as far as those recently issued in other states, such as New York and Michigan (which banned certain vaping products), it does call for a new anti-vaping awareness campaign focused on the dangers of tobacco and cannabis vaping, asks for additional warnings on both vaping product packaging and at retail locations, and increases enforcement against non-licensed cannabis and tobacco vaping products.

Although the text of Newsom’s executive order focuses on the potential public health issues that could be linked to vaping tobacco products, Newsom stated the order also applies to cannabis vaping and vaporizers. Specifically, the order requires the California Department of Public Health to immediately allocate at least $20 million from tobacco and cannabis programs to fund a new anti-vaping marketing campaign, similar to California’s anti-tobacco programs, to reduce vaping. Subsequent to Newsom’s executive order, a Senator and Assembly members’ joint statement declared a dedication to pursuing strong legislation to restrict vaping in California.

As a result of Governor Newsom’s order vaporizer manufacturers are likely to see more stringent rules surrounding product and packaging specifications and licensed retailers of vaporizers may face increased liability over consumer warnings. California cannabis businesses involved in the manufacture, distribution, or sale of vaporizers and vaping products should watch for regulatory and legislative updates.

Governor Newsom’s executive order is available here.