Tainted Vapes Found in Illegal Stores
Tests run on cannabis vaporizer cartridges recently obtained by Leafly at illegal California stores show shocking levels of pesticide contamination and toxic vitamin E oil.
By law, those shops shouldn’t even exist, let alone sell tainted THC vape oil to an unsuspecting public. Under Proposition 64, which took effect Jan. 1, 2018, all medical and adult-use cannabis retailers must have a state-issued license. For example, A Dank Vapes Sour Apple cartridge tested at 5,475 times the legal limit for chlorfenapyr, a mosquito pesticide.
Despite those regulations, thousands of unlicensed cannabis shops still operate throughout the state. Because they’re not following the rules, the products they sell are not subject to stringent potency and purity testing requirements.
Illicit vendors remain especially abundant in Los Angeles. More than 22 months into legalization, officials have shut down only a small portion of LA’s many unlawful cannabis shops.
Meanwhile, an unprecedented, national mass poisoning event has sickened nearly 1,400 and killed at least 33 from vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI). And evidence amassed by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other sources have identified street THC cartridges as the key vector in the nationwide VAPI outbreak.
In Los Angeles, Leafly found no shortage of untested and potentially counterfeit cannabis vape supplies for sale in unlicensed cannabis stores operating openly. Leafly obtained 10 disposable cartridges and had their contents tested by a licensed lab.
Result: Tainted Vapes Found in Illegal Stores. Some oils had pesticide levels more than 5,000 times the legal limit. Others contained nearly 35 percent tocopheryl-acetate, the vitamin E oil additive that, when heated and inhaled, prevents the lungs from absorbing oxygen. Tocopheryl-acetate is one of the leading suspects in the national VAPI crisis.
At last count, 110 of the nation’s sickened VAPI patients reside in California. Three have died. Leafly has confirmed that the first brand associated with a California patient who died from VAPI is called “West Coast Cure.” The brand is still widely available in-state from unlicensed delivery services.
California remains the #1 domestic source for cannabis in the US. Since the 1980s, the Golden State has led the nation in production and export of raw cannabis. Nowadays, police say the west coast continues to also lead the nation as a source state for illicit vape pen components: THC oil, electronics hardware, and chemical additives.
Careful points of note for people using vapes.
AVOID USING TAINED VAPES FOUND IN ILLEGAL STORES
Licensed dispensaries are outnumbered by ILLEGAL establishments so be very careful who you purchase from.
Illegal products sell for about half the price of the real thing. A full gram cartridge should cost between $70 and $80. Prices well below are likely tainted vapes found in illegal stores.
Tocopheryl-acetate (the dangerous vitamin e-oil linked to the VAPI patient deaths) were found in cuts of 35% in tainted vapes found in illegal stores. When smoked and inhaled, the otherwise benign food supplement and cosmetics ingredient blocks the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen, triggering chemical pneumonitis, hypoxia, and, if untreated, death.
Tainted vapes found in illegal stores had 5,475 times over the legal limit for mosquito pesticide which go straight into a users’ lungs when vaped and can also cause lung injury.
Article information provided by. Check out the full article on leafly.com.