Judge rules Gov. Baker, DPH overstepped authority in medical marijuana vape ban

Judge rules Gov. Baker, DPH overstepped authority in medical marijuana vape ban

On Tuesday the controversial vape product ban took a turn as a judge ruled against the governor's ban on medical marijuana vape products.

This comes six weeks to the day since Governor Baker and the Department of Public Health banned all vaping products across the Commonwealth, including recreational and nicotine. The ruling pertains only to medical marijuana products.

The judge says the Cannabis Control Commission should be in charge of this. Judge Douglas Wilkins says the commission regulates the industry and that the Department of Public Health should work as an advisor.

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Tuesday's ruling was a blow for the Baker administration, but the battle isn’t over.

Will Luzier uses marijuana vaping products, he says, because of the pain from his ailments.

"I have ocular hypertension and arthritis," he said. "[Vaping marijuana] eases the pain, eases the pressure inside my eyes."

He's also a plaintiff in a civil case against Governor Baker and the Department of Public Health. On Tuesday, patients like Luzier got a big win with a ruling that strikes down the ban as of next week.

In a 20-page written decision, Judge Douglas Wilkins says:

"DPH likely exceeded its authority by banning vaping products used by medical marijuana cardholders."

The judge ruled the Cannabis Control Commission would need to make emergency regulations, and, if it fails to do so, the ban on medical marijuana vaping products will expire on November 12.

A spokesperson for the Cannabis Control Commission told Boston 25 News that they're still reviewing the ruling.

Even with this ruling, Luzier and others have concerns that the commission could craft emergency regulations or the governor's office may request a stay from the appeals court.

The judge's ruling pertains to medical marijuana products only, but the wider vape ban remains at issue.

Governor Baker’s Office saying 217 suspected cases of vaping-related lung injuries have been reported to DPH along with two confirmed deaths in Massachusetts. The office also released the following statement:

With today's ruling, the vaping ban remains in place for adult-use marijuana and nicotine products and the administration is in the process of working with the Attorney General's office to appeal this ruling to the SJC. – Terry MacCormack, Deputy Communications Director.