Marijuana vaping products will soon be back on dispensary shelves after the Cannabis Control Commission lifted its quarantine. Dispensaries, however, will only be able to sell products made since the ban was lifted. WGBH Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu spoke with Commissioner Shaleen Title about the latest on the commission's decision to lift the quarantine, and what it could mean for business owners and consumers. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: Do we know more today about what could be getting people sick than we did when Gov. Baker first passed the ban in September?

Commissioner Shaleen Title: We do know more today. The CDC has been tracking illnesses nationwide and releasing data, and they do have one potential chemical of concern. There may be more, but so far there's one potential chemical of concern, which is vitamin E acetate. And as of yesterday, the commission has partially lifted its quarantine so that certain products are now permitted to be sold. That includes vaporizer products manufactured as of yesterday that will pass a screen for vitamin E acetate and other testing issues that may come up if other chemicals of concern are identified.

Mathieu: I'm wondering what you're hearing from dispensaries, Commissioner. Vape oil is a big part of their business, or at least it was until this happened. Do they essentially have to destroy their quarantined inventory now?

Title: Well, there's no order that the quarantined inventory needs to be destroyed. That's the whole purpose of a quarantine; we'll wait to see what happens. The commission's investigation is ongoing. We're still awaiting test results, so you'll definitely be hearing more from us, and I want to encourage people who want to stay on top of this [and] who want to have the information they need to protect their health to pay attention to the commission's announcements. You can follow the commission at or on social media.

Mathieu: You've criticized how the state released its information about lung illnesses. One of the things you tweeted said, "Imagine if you were in charge of regulating lettuce and no one would tell you which lettuce was making people sick or why it was a secret." How do you think the Baker administration — and as a whole, the commission — handled this?

Title: Well, I think when a regulating agency needs the public health data to regulate a product, it should get that information upon request. I don't think it should have become such a long, drawn out public conversation. But in any case, I'm very glad that we did get the data, we were able to follow up on it, we were able to investigate and now we've been able to release our ongoing conclusions to the public and now act on them. Now the public has information that it needs, and the public has at least some access to regulated, tested [and] labeled tracked products.

Mathieu: Commissioner, the CDC also passed some regulations calling for additional testing to scan for vitamin E and other toxins associated with these lung illnesses. Did you support those requirements? Is there proof behind those associations?

Title: Yes. Well, I think it makes sense. The CDC, to be clear, is still recommending that people should not use THC vape products, particularly from informal sources, friends, family [or] online sources. But I think we need to be honest about the fact that we heard in testimony [and] feedback that some people are still choosing to use these products. So they should have access to products that have been tested. And we may find that as more information comes out, as the investigations continue, that we need to look for more tests, that we need to change our protocols. But as of now, the products that will be available will have been tested. For vitamin E acetate, that will be clear on the label, as well as the warning that vape products may contain other ingredients that may be harmful for health.

Mathieu: The whole concept of vaping, whether it was for nicotine or marijuana, was to provide people with a safer alternative to combustible flower or smoke that they would inhale into their lungs. Do you still believe this morning that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking?

Title: That's a great question. I would suggest that people — and medical cannabis patients in particular — should be talking to their clinicians about that question and their individual circumstances. I don't know if there's a blanket answer to that question at this point.

Mathieu: I understand. It's good to get an honest answer. Do you think that vaping will be here to stay, given we don't have long-term studies about the effects on health?

Title: Well, what I know for sure is that consumers and patients feel very strongly about vape products, and it's not an easy transition for them to switch to something else. I know a lot of people don't feel comfortable moving to smoking, so they feel like they need these products. And so for me, it's important that they have the information that they need and that they're empowered to protect their own health and to make informed decisions.

Mathieu: Do you have a sense of when we might have an update on the quarantined products or any sort of testing that might follow?

Title: Well, because this is an ongoing investigation and we're still waiting on test results, I do think you'll hear from us again very soon. So, again, I encourage people to watch the commission: And I also encourage people to read the amended quarantine order that has all of the factual findings that we've made so far.