Agencies to Share Data After Illness Linked to Pot Retailers

The agreement comes after six residents with probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses confirmed they used state-licensed marijuana products

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Two Massachusetts agencies have agreed to share data with each other to investigate whether six probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses are linked to state-licensed marijuana retailers, as health officials suggested last week.

The state's Cannabis Control Commission and the Department of Public Health entered the agreement Friday to share information on dispensaries identified during interviews with patients, a commission spokeswoman said in a statement.

The agreement follows a report issued last week by health officials that said six residents with probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses had used products purchased from state-licensed marijuana retailers.

The state has flagged 90 probable and confirmed cases of vaping-related lung illnesses. Three of those people have died. Forty-nine people have been interviewed by state officials.

Neither agency has provided information as to which retailers may have sold the products that sickened people, reported.

The health department did not say last week what products were linked to the six cases or where they were purchased, but it did recommend avoiding the use of all vaping products until more is known about the cause or causes of the disease.

Last week's report was released just days before Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is set to lift a statewide ban on the sale of vaping products that started in September.

The Cannabis Control Commission has imposed a separate moratorium on marijuana vape sales.

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