Washington, D.C.—The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) delivered a letter to both chambers of Congress urging sensible and timely federal action in response to increasing illnesses tied to illicit market vape cartridge products, according to a press release. The letter—signed by business leaders, advocates, and policy experts—asks lawmakers to work to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, so that cannabis products can be effectively regulated at the federal level.

These actions, the release asserts, would remove barriers to research, allow the federal government to establish uniform safety protocols and provide guidance to state regulatory bodies, and help displace the illicit unregulated cannabis market that is the source of the vast majority of the products tied to illness cases.
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NCIA has released anin-depth set of recommendationsthat it says should be used to establish a federal regulatory structure for different types of cannabis and hemp products through existing federal agencies.

Aaron Smith, Executive Director of the NCIA, said in the release: “This outbreak of illnesses is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy, and the direct result of failed prohibition policies. It is imperative that lawmakers understand this, and know that the cannabis industry is committed to working with them to help solve this issue and prevent further suffering. We have the tools to protect cannabis consumers and improve public safety, and are ready to help Congress implement them without delay. State regulators and responsible, licensed cannabis businesses have been doing an excellent job at keeping potentially dangerous products out of the legal market. We urge Congress to help us continue—and improve upon—this record by ending prohibition and creating an efficient and intelligent national regulatory structure.”

The full text of the letter isavailable here.