‘Legal’ and ‘tasty’ cannabis e-cigarettes go on sale in UK (Wired UK)


KanaVape


The first electronic cannabis cigarette is
set to go on sale in the UK tomorrow. Created by a French-Czech
company called KanaVape, the
cigarette apparently offers many of the perceived benefits of
cannabis, but none of the psychotic effects.

While they are made from organic hemp, KanaVape cigarettes do
not incorporate any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal
psychoactive constituent of cannabis plants. It will not make you
high, claims a statement on the company’s website, but it will make
you relax.

“We made KanaVape to give millions of people a legal and
tasteful way of using cannabinoids. We craft our production with
love, care and scientific research. KanaVape is good for our
customers and good for the planet,” say KanaVape’s founders,
Antonin Cohen and Sebastian Beguerie, in a statement.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the company site says that the
e-cigarette should not be compared to a marijuana vaporiser or
“e-joint” because of the absence of THC in the product. Instead it
calls it a “premium e-liquid vaporiser”. It does however preserve
the flavour of cannabis — should this appeal to you — but with
none of the smell. The organic hemp is grown especially in fields
in the Czech Republic, Spain and France.

Earlier this week France’s health minister Marisol Touraine
opposed the cigarette going on sale in the country, according to
the Guardian. Despite KanaVape not containing THC, forensic
testing would be needed to confirm what ingredients are present and
whether or not they are controlled substances.

WIRED.co.uk got in touch with the Home Office as to the legality
of the product in the UK. Here is what a spokesperson had to say on
the matter: “Cannabis is classed as an illegal drug under the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

“It is an offence to supply and possess a controlled drug and to
supply any article believing it to be used for their
administration.”

So without commenting directly on KanaVape as a product, the
government line is basically, if it contains cannabis, it will be
stopped. This is obviously very vague. KanaVape cigarettes were
initially developed for medicinal uses, and if they are sold as
such in the UK, it will be the job of the Medicines and Healthcare
Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to regulate them.

A spokesperson for the MHRA told WIRED.co.uk that “where
electronic cigarettes make medicinal claims concerning smoking
cessation and harm reduction we continue to require regulation
under medicines legislation as the correct route to marketing. This
ensures that these products authorised as medicines meet the
appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy and as a
result could be recommended under various NHS stop smoking
schemes.”

The spokesperson went on to point out that non-medicinal
electronic cigarettes will soon be regulated under a separate
framework currently being designed by the European Tobacco Products
Directive. It will be up to the Department of Health to decide how
this works in the UK. In the meantime, they added: “the MHRA
continues to encourage companies to voluntarily submit medicines
licence applications for electronic cigarettes and other nicotine
containing products as medicines.”

It seems that for now there is no definitive answer as to
whether KanaVape cigarettes are legal or not — but no doubt as
they go on sale we will hear too from UK politicians who are
concerned about whether they should be allowed. Watch this
space.

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17 December 2014 | 6:13 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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