Marijuana vape pens seized from illegal shops in Los Angeles contained potentially dangerous additives, including a substance linked to the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses, reports USA Today. The test results for some of the 10,000 confiscated vape cartridges are a reminder to avoid unlicensed marijuana retailers, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control said. After seizing the products in raids last month, officials determined 75 percent had undisclosed chemicals such as propylene glycol and vitamin E acetate, the thickening agent blamed for the outbreak that has killed 60 people since last spring.
“The prevalence of dirty and dangerous vape pens at unlicensed cannabis stores demonstrate how important it is for consumers to purchase cannabis goods from licensed retailers, which are required to sell products that meet state testing and labeling standards,” said the bureau’s Lori Ajax. Confiscated products were less potent than labels claimed, with some containing less than half of the THC advertised. One cartridge tested by California public health officials had oil containing 33 percent THC, contradicting its label of 80 to 85 percent THC. The Centers for Disease Control said 77 percent of patients who developed lung injuries after vaping marijuana obtained the product from “informal” sources such as in-person or online dealers. In addition to the 60 deaths, vaping has been linked to lung illness among more than 2,600 people across all 50 states.