The Puyallup Tribe instituted a 100-day ban on the sale of flavored vaping products on tribal land. The temporary ban applies to both flavored cannabis and nicotine products.
The decision comes one day after the Washington State Board of Health unanimously approved Governor Jay Inslee’s executive order to ban the sale and purchase of flavored vaping products in the state until February 7, 2020.
The Tribal Council, which is the governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, directed tribe-owned Puyallup Tribal Cannabis Enterprise to begin the ban immediately. The temporary ban will go into effect on November 1, 2019, for Tribal cigarette and tobacco retailers.
As a sovereign nation, the Puyallup Tribe is not required to observe Washington’s temporary ban on flavored vaping products. However, David Z. Bean, chairman of the Puyallup Tribal Council, said nationwide reports of illnesses linked to vaping products prompted the ban.
“We need to get to the bottom of these illnesses,” Bean said in a statement. “The health of our membership and the surrounding community is too important to overlook.”
The Tribe said it will do a study of flavored vapor products during the 100-day ban.
“We own Medicine Creek Analytics, one of the best testing labs in the state of Washington,” said Vice Chairman Bill Sterud. “Tribal Council will convene a team of our medical and research professionals and get to work.”
Gov. Inslee issued an executive order in September asking for an emergency ban on flavored vaping products, including flavored THC vapor products. The order also asked the state's Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban any ingredients that are found to be the cause of reported lung illnesses related to vaping in the state and across the country.
The number of vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. has now reached about 1,300 cases and at least 26 deaths. Forty-nine states and one U.S. territory have reported illnesses. Only Alaska has not seen a case.