Marijuana-Related Poison Control Calls Increase | Connecting Point | Oct. 1, 2019

Marijuana-Related Poison Control Calls Increase | Connecting Point | Oct. 1, 2019


>>>LAST WEEK GOVERNOR BAKER
ANNOUNCED A BAN ON ALL VAPING
PRODUCTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
FOLLOWING THE CDC’S REPORTING OF
HUNDREDS OF ILLNESSES NATIONWIDE
AND NINE DEATHS.
THE BAN IS A HUGE HIT TO STORE
OWNERS IN THE STATE, MANY WHO
SAY THEY FEAR THEY’LL BE FORCED
OUT OF BUSINESS.
CAROLEE McGRATH SAT DOWN WITH
TWO LOCAL VAPING SHOP OWNERS TO
HEAR THEIR STORY.
>>IT WAS OUT OF THE BLUE THAT
WE JUST, YOU KNOW, GET AN HOUR
NOTICE SAYING THAT IMMEDIATELY
EFFECTIVE, THERE IS A BAN ON
VAPING PRODUCTS.
AND FOR THE FACT IT WAS
IMMEDIATE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN,
WE HAVE NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT TO
CLOSE IT.
WE BASICALLY HAD TO SHUT DOWN
ONE OF OUR BUSINESSES COMPLETELY
AND LET GO OF OUR EMPLOYEES,
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO
SHUT DOWN THE RIGHT WAY.
ANOTHER SHOP WE ARE TRYING TO
SURVIVE, BUT IT IS VERY TOUGH.
>>WHAT ABOUT YOU?
YOU HAD TO SHUT DOWN A SHOP?
>>I DIDN’T HAVE TO SHUT DOWN A
SHOP.
WE ARE A NEW ESTABLISHMENT.
WE STARTED NOT EVEN A YEAR AGO
AND THIS HAS BEEN A MAJOR
ROADBLOCK FOR US.
IT HAS BEEN ABOUT 10 MONTHS NOW
AND ALREADY WE HAVE A FINANCIAL
PROBLEM WITH THE VAPES BEING
DISAPPEARED OR TAKEN AWAY BY THE
STATE OR NOT BEING ABLE TO
PRACTICE OUR RIGHT TO FREE
COMMERCE.
>>WERE YOU SURPRISED BY THIS
DECISION
>>I WAS VERY SURPRISED.
>>MOST OF THE PRODUCTS IN YOUR
STORE IN EAST MEADOW, ZANE’S
SMOKE SHOP, VAPING PRODUCTS OR A
MIX.
>>IT IS A MIX.
VAPING WAS A HIGH VOLUME OF OUR
PRODUCTS.
>>WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM
YOUR CUSTOMERS?
>>THEY ARE VERY ANGRY.
NOT US, JUST THE GOVERNMENT.
THEY ARE NOT REALLY SURE WHAT TO
DO.
THEY CAN’T REALLY DO ANYTHING
ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE CAN’T DO
ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
>>BUT IT WENT INTO EFFECT
IMMEDIATELY.
NOW ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE
BLACK MARKET.
YOU ARE LEGITIMATE BUSINESS
OWNERS.
PEOPLE STILL WANT VAPING
PRODUCTS.
WILL THEY TURN TO OTHER SOURCES?
>>THE CUSTOMER REACTION IS AS
YOU SAID, BLACK MARKET IS GOING
TO GO BEYOND WHAT THEY ARE DOING
RIGHT NOW.
WE ARE GOING TO LOSE A LEGIT
BUSINESS, BUT THE BLACK MARKET
IS NOT GOING TO BE AFFECTED.
THEY WILL RISE THEIR SALES.
AS WELL AS PEOPLE COMING TO US
WERE CONCERNED FOR THE FACT THEY
ARE GOING TO BE GOING BACK TO
SMOKING.
IF THEY COULD NOT GET WHAT WAS
HELPING THEM QUIT SMOKING OR GO
DOWN ON THE NICOTINE, IT IS ALL
BEING TAKEN AWAY AND THEY ARE
DEFINITELY GOING TO GO TO
CIGARETTES.
WE HAD PEOPLE STOCK UP.
BUT ONCE THAT RUNS OUT THEY WILL
GO BACK TO CIGARETTES.
>>THEY WILL GO TO OUT OF STATE
BUSINESSES.
>>WE ARE SURE THEY WILL GO OUT
OF STATE.
ME AND ZANE’S SMOKE SHOT IS NEXT
TO THE BORDER OF CONNECTICUT.
AFTER FOUR MONTHS WHO KNOWS IF
THEY WILL COME BACK OR NOT
BECAUSE THEY HAVE A NEW PLACE TO
GO TO.
NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, OTHER
PLACES.
BASICALLY YOU ARE RUINING THE
BUSINESSES, NOT TAKING AWAY
VAPES COMPLETELY FROM PEOPLE.
I THINK IT IS A BIGGER EFFECT
FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS
RATHER THAN ANYBODY ELSE
>>CAN YOU SEE THE CONCERN?
THE CDC REPORTED 500 ILLNESSES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND ABOUT
NINE DEATHS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
CAN YOU SEE WHERE HEALTH
OFFICIALS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
THIS?
>>I UNDERSTAND THAT VAPING IS
NOT THE SAFEST OPTION, BUT THESE
ILLNESSES WERE NOT FROM
AUTHORIZED VAPES.
A LOT OF THE LIQUIDS HAVE BEEN
APPROVED BY THE FDA AND WE’RE
ALLOWED TO SELL THEM BECAUSE
THEY HAVE BEEN APPROVED.
THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE FALLEN
VICTIM TO THESE ILLNESSES ARE
ACTUALLY FROM THC CARTRIDGES ON
THE BLACK MARKET.
NOW LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES HAVE
BASICALLY NO RIGHT TO SELL THEIR
LEGAL PRODUCT, THE BLACK MARKET
WILL RISE BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING
AWARDED FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE,
CAUSED ILLNESSES, MORE PEOPLE
WILL TURN TO THE BLACK MARKET TO
GET THC CARTRIDGES, MORE PEOPLE
WILL TURN TO CIGARETTES.
IT IS BASICALLY A PLAN TO KILL
THE VAPING INDUSTRY.
>>WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP IN ALL
OF THIS?
>>THERE ARE A BUNCH OF THINGS
GOING THROUGH OUR HEAD RIGHT
NOW, WHAT TO DO NEXT.
ARE WE GOING TO BE ABLE TO OPEN
THIS BUSINESS AGAIN.
WE ARE TRYING TO CONTACT THE
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OR STATE HELP
WHICH COULD POSSIBLY BE PROVIDED
TO US.
IF ANYTHING, YOU PROBABLY HAVE
HEARD ONE OF THE VAPE SHOPS SUED
THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS FOR
BANNING VAPING PRODUCTS.
WE MIGHT BE JOINING THAT ROUTE
AS WELL.
THAT IS THE LAST RESORT FOR US
AS WE HAVE NO OTHER WAY OF
INCOME.
WE NEED TO GET SOMETHING BECAUSE
ALL OF OUR PRODUCT HAS BEEN
STUCK THERE, ALMOST $200,000 TO
$300,000 PRODUCT IS SITTING IN
THE SHELVES AND IN FOUR MONTHS
SOME WILL EXPIRE.
WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIQUIDATE
THAT AT THE MOMENT.
IF THAT GOES TO WASTE WE LOST
MONEY FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.
>>I KNOW YOU SAID YOU HAD TO
LET EMPLOYEES GO.
>>YES.
>>WHAT ARE YOU HEARING IN THE
AREA AS FAR AS JOBS LOST?
>>WE HAVE EIGHT EMPLOYEES FROM
TWO SHOPS WHO LOST THEIR JOBS.
FROM WHAT I HAVE HEARD, NEW YORK
HAS LOST ALMOST 700 BUSINESSES.
MASSACHUSETTS HAS MORE THAN
THAT.
MASSACHUSETTS WILL RUN, I DON’T
KNOW, AROUND 5,000 TO 6,000 JOBS
ARE GOING TO BE GONE COMPLETELY.
THEY ARE GOING TO BE LAID OFF
COMPLETELY.
IF YOU CONSIDER THE FACT THEY
DON’T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO GO
TO RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THEIR
EXPERIENCE IS IN THE SMOKE
SHOPS.
THEY HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO APPLY
FOR SO IT IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR
EVERYBODY.
>>DO YOU THINK YOU CAN STAY
AFLOAT FOR THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS?
>>WE’RE TRYING.
IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL.
WE HAVE ALREADY NOTICED A
DECREASE IN SALES.
IT IS NOT LOOKING SO GOOD.
>>THERE IS A LOT OF TALK PRIOR
TO THIS NEWS BREAKING OF THE BAN
AND THE ILLNESSES, ABOUT VAPING
PRODUCTS GETTING INTO THE HANDS
OF TEENAGERS.
OBVIOUSLY, THE AGE IS 21 AND
THAT IS WHO YOU SELL TO.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BEING
CAUGHT UP IN THIS POLITICAL
DISCUSSION ABOUT UNDERAGE VAPES?
>>DEFINITELY, MA’AM.
BECAUSE THE THING IS, IF YOU
ALREADY DECIDED TO MAKE AN AGE
LIMIT FOR SOMETHING.
WE ARE LEGIT FOLLOWING THAT.
WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING LEGALLY.
ANYBODY WHO COMES INTO OUR
SHOPS, WE SCAN THEIR I.D.s.
MAKE SURE EVERYBODY WHO IS OF
AGE IS BUYING THE PRODUCT.
WHEN THEY GO GIVE IT TO SOMEBODY
ELSE THAT IS YOUR CONCERN TO
FIGURE OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING
OUTSIDE ON THE STREETS OR
PARKING LOTS.
THAT IS NONE OF OUR CONCERN.
WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING IN THE
RIGHT MANNER.
PEOPLE GETTING ACCESS TO
SOMETHING WHICH WE HAVEN’T, YOU
KNOW, DONE ANYTHING WRONG WITH,
I’M NOT SURE HOW TO RESPOND TO
THAT.
THAT IS SOMETHING THEY SHOULD
INVESTIGATE RATHER THAN SHUTTING
DOWN BUSINESSES.
>>YOUR BOTTOM LINE IS, LISTEN,
I’M SELLING A LEGAL PRODUCT AND
YOU ARE TAKING ATE AWAY AND IT
IS HURTING MY BUSINESS?
>>BASICALLY.
YEAH.
YOU ARE TAKING SOMETHING I
THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO MAKE
MONEY OFF THAT WAS APPROVED BY
THE GOVERNMENT AND A CARELESS
DECISION WAS MADE THAT AFFECTED
MULTIPLE BUSINESSES IN THE AREA.
IT IS A OLOSS OF MILLIONS OF TAX
DOLLARS.
>>IF YOU APPROVE SOMETHING, WE
ARE SELLING SOMETHING, WE ARE
TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE QUIT
SMOKING.
WE HAVE HEARD STORIES THE YEARS
WE HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS, THEY
ARE BREATHING BETTER,LESSER
WHEEZING NOISES AND SLEEPING
BETTER.
SOME WE HAVE SEEN QUIT OVER
TIME.
SOME OF THE PEOPLE SMOKING FOR
30 YEARS HAVE BASICALLY QUIT
AFTER
A YEAR OR TWO OF SMOKING
INTO VAPES THEY WENT DOWN AND
COMPLETELY QUIT.
NOW ANYTHING YOU ABUSE IS NOT
GOOD FOR YOU, CIGARETTES,
SMOKING VAPES, DRIVING A CAR
RECKLESSLY, NOTHING IS GOOD IF
YOU ARE ABUSING THAT THING.
IF YOU DRIVE A CAR AT 150 MILES
AN HOUR, THE COMPANY DIDN’T TELL
YOU TO DO THAT.
IF YOU CRASH INTO SOMETHING, THE
COPS GO AFTER YOU, NOT THE
COMPANY THAT SOLD YOU THE CAR.
YOU HAVE SEVERAL EXAMPLES FOR
THAT.
A BIGGER MATTER RATHER THAN SOME
KIDS GOT ILL BECAUSE OF
SOMETHING NOT RELATED TO VAPES.
AGAIN, NOTHING YOU SMOKE IS GOOD
FOR YOU.
I MYSELF AM PERSONALLY NOT A
SMOKER.
I THINK VAPING HAS HELPED
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE QUIT AND GET
A BETTER LIFE.
LOOK INTO THAT AS WELL NOT JUST
SHOW THE NEGATIVE PARTS OF IT.

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