Dispensary 33 Vaping Statement

Over the last few days we’ve been receiving a number of emails and phone calls from patients and concerned groups regarding Vaporizer Cartridges and Pens being sold at D33. So far, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not drawn any conclusions and in the void alarmist media coverage is beginning to rise. Though we agree with the CDC that there is not enough evidence to make a determination yet, we thought some background may be useful. Patients have told us that they are worried about the quality of their medicine. We also know that it can be confusing to differentiate between the many vaporizable products on the market and how they were produced.


So, let’s start by explaining what we do know:

• Illinois has some of the strictest (If not the strictest) requirements for testing cannabis concentrates sold in dispensaries.
• Every batch of products is tested by a third party, State approved laboratory.
• These labs test for microbiological contaminants, mycotoxins, pesticide active ingredients, and undergo an active ingredient analysis.
• Concentrates (like Vape Cartridges) are tested for residual solvents. These are any remaining chemicals used during the extraction process that have not been removed. They are measured in ppm (parts per million) and their use is highly regulated in IL.
• The allowable threshold for Residual Solvents in Illinois is: 10 ppm.
• For reference, the threshold in Colorado is: 5,000ppm


While we can’t speak to every product on the market, we can tell you about what’s sold in our shop:

• Dispensary33 has never carried a vaporizable product that has contained PG, VG, PEG or Vitamin E.
• We know that’s a lot of letters. Our point is simply that it has been in our buyer handbook since the before the day we opened. We’re not saying that these surfactants are the cause of the illnesses but we have always been weary of using certain lipid-based dilutants that were designed for ingestion, as opposed to inhalation.
• That is also why we have always recommended that sublingual oils (like RSO’s) should not be dabbed (vaporized).
• We do carry a small line of cartridges that use medium chain triglycerides (MCT) to carry flavors. We always list any additive used in any of our products along.
• MCT oil is the best studied of these sorts of additives. It has also been studied extensively when inhaled. “According to the Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients, MCT, in acute toxicology studies in both humans and animals, “no irritant or other adverse reactions have been observed….” [Id.] “Similarly, chronic toxicology studies in animals have shown no harmful adverse effects associated with medium-chain triglycerides following inhalation or intraperitoneal, oral, and parenteral administration.” [Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients, 6th Ed., 2009, MCTs and Coconut Oil, at 429-31 & 184-185.}


We could speculate quite a bit on what may be causing people to become ill but we believe in evidence-based approaches to guide any determinations we make. There is simply not enough evidence yet to point a decisive finger. However, there are some things we believe everyone should consider when purchasing vape cartridges in general:

• Do Not use products for vaping that are not intended for that purpose. Many products made for ingestion have high quantities of lipids or liposomes – which can cause things like Lipoid Pneumonia.
• Do Not modify the device you use to heat the cartridge. Not only can raising the temperature cause certain chemicals like PG to change forms into more toxic compounds, but damaging the heating “coil” in the device can cause it to release heavy metals into the product itself.
• Avoid products that use dilutants or “thickeners” that are not derived from the Cannabis plant itself. We only purchase products that reintroduce Cannabis-Derived Terpenes. One exception is a small amount of MCT in flavored style products.
• Avoid these in particular: Propelyne Glycol (PG) and Vitamin E derived from palm.
There are several types of Vitamin E. Gamma-Tocotrienol in particular has been implicated in pulmonary damage. This homologue is found mostly in Palm.
• Avoid Black Market products. The primary issue is that there is no testing on the black market. Also the type of equipment needed to make a truly high quality cartridge or pen is not available to that segment. Bathroom gin got a lot of people sick too.


What’s likely causing the harm is something that they are putting in to make it easy or cheap to mix,”  – Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

You can find the CDC report HERE.

Need A Card

Medical cannabis patients pay $100/year for a card but only need a physician certification every three years.  Opioid alternative act patients only pay $10 every three months but must get a physician certification at every renewal.  So, for anyone who pays out of pocket for a doctor’s visit the medical cannabis card will likely be much cheaper and will not involve the hassle of regular doctor visits.

Only Illinois resident adults over 21 years of age who are U.S. citizens can use the opioid bill program, and they cannot assign a caregiver.  Illinois residents of any age, even without a social security number, can use the medical cannabis program, and they can assign a caregiver to purchase and possess cannabis on their behalf.

Yes!  Any physician in Illinois can certify you for cannabis access (either through the medical cannabis law or the opioid alternative law) – either instead of opioids or in addition to an opioid prescription. 

Sadly, most doctors are forbidden by their employees from even discussing cannabis and will not help patients gain access.  To find out more go to our Opioid Bill page.

Currently, Illinois only allows the sale of medical cannabis to those who have received cards from the Illinois Department of Public Health. We expect all adults to be able to purchase cannabis in Illinois 2020.

Unfortunately, we can only sell to registered Illinois medical cannabis patients, even non-cannabis products.

No. State law does not allow us to sell to anyone without an Illinois-issued medical cannabis card.

Adults can only have a single caregiver. Minors are allowed two caregivers.

Have A Card

If you have had your card for less than three years, you only have to extend your card online here. If it has been three years since your last doctor’s certification, then you will have to get that renewed as well. If you are looking for a different doctor, you can email us and we will provide you with a list of doctors in the area.

With a medical cannabis card, you can register at any dispensary in the State, but you can only be registered to a single dispensary at any time. Switching dispensaries is free, takes no more than a day or two, and can be done any number of times. To switch to D33, fill out the form here.

Without a medical cannabis card in your physical possession you cannot enter a dispensary. To replace a lost card, fill out this form and submit it along with a $25 fee to the IDPH.

Only people with Illinois medical cannabis cards in their possession are allowed past the waiting room. You do not have to be registered to D33 to come inside, but you do have to be registered with D33 to make a purchase.

Still have a question?  Shoot us an email