Given the massive popularity of weed vape pens, it’s not surprising that the illicit black market street level drug dealers are trying to squeeze more profit. The estimated THC vape market size is around $2.5 billion in sales this year and the illicit market size could be easily double.

Vitamin E acetate, among other dangerous oils used to cut THC carts, produce more profit for black market dealers by yielding a thicker consistency. The FDA & CDA have both identified these to be a possible common link between the outbreak in illnesses.

More specifically, the brands DANK Vapes, TKO, Moon Rocks, West Coast Carts & Chronic Cars have been called out by government agencies as the most commonly replicated street level brands. Many of these named brands are legit manufactures that are being caught in a dangerous game of black market clones & knock offs.

“The black market needs to be shut down and legal, safe product will protect the public… The knockoffs are being knocked off as the packaging is for sale on Chinese websites”

Bill Loucks, co-founder of TKO Products told the Wall Street Journal

Many of the patients who used Black Market THC carts reported to the FDA & CDC were located in non-legal states. Which poses the question, how many of these users who were younger admitted to using street level drugs? Or were those who denied the use in fear of getting into trouble with either the law or their family.

Key Findings:

  • Lab work required to retail legal THC carts did not require resting for Vitamin E and other possibly harmful cutting agents
  • On Sept. 27, the CDC stated, “the high level of use of pre-filled THC cartridges, used in a range of different devices, suggests that the cartridges might play an important role.” 
  • Currently the FDA has received 440 samples of THC Carts for sampling which were linked to patients. Of those tested so far 150 contained cutting agents such as Vitamin E.
  • Additional testing by FDA found tocopheryl-acetate found in a small sample of 10 our of 10 from California illicit sources.