BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A state judge on Monday allowed Massachusetts’ four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products to remain in effect but said Gov. Charlie Baker had failed to follow required procedures in enacting the measure.
“While the plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success, the balance of harms weigh in defendants’ favor in some respects, and an immediate injunction against the entire order would contravene the public interest,” Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins wrote in his ruling.
Wilkins said unless the state goes through the proper procedure for the adoption of an emergency regulation, which requires a public hearing, the ban will end next Monday.
“Input from affected industries and members of the public is a potent safeguard against executive abuse of discretion,” Wilkins wrote.
Gov. Baker announced the ban in September, declaring a public health emergency and ordering a four-month halt on all vaping product sales.
“I appreciate the fact that the ban remains in place, and that we have sort of a week here to figure out next steps, if there are next steps that are required. For us, from the beginning this was a public health question, first and foremost,” said Governor Baker following the ruling Monday.
Vape store owners fought the ban, saying they will lose significant business and some were forced to closed.
“It’s very encouraging to see that the judge recognized that the governor’s September 24th order was unconstitutional and that there is likely to be severe and reputable harm to the small business owners that I represent,” said Craig Rourke, the attorney representing the vape shop owners.
Medical marijuana patients are disappointed the judge’s order does not impact the ban on THC products.
“The panic attacks come on very, very randomly,” said Laure Lee Medeiros, who suffers from PTSD. She uses medical marijuana cartridges because it’s a quick and easy way to manager her symptoms.
Since the ban, she’s had to travel out of state for her medication.
“I wish that we were given a little bit of an advanced notice even just something hey by the way this is what we’re going to do so we could have a chance to get some of the medicine that we do use,” Medeiros said.
There have been 1,479 lung injury cases associated with vaping nationwide. That includes 29 cases and one death in Massachusetts.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)