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Nearly 80% of Illicit-Market Vape Cartridges Collected During Buy-Back Program Were Unfit for Consumption

Photo courtesy of Platinum

Platinum partnered with Miramar, Calif.’s Mankind Dispensary to allow customers to exchange illicit-market vapes for a Platinum vape product. Testing on the surrendered vape cartridges has since revealed alarming statistics.

An illicit-market vape cartridge buy-back program set in motion by Platinum and Miramar, Calif.’s Mankind Dispensary has revealed that the majority of unregulated vapes collected are unfit for consumption.

During the month of September, Mankind’s customers were invited to turn in vape cartridges that had been purchased from sources other than a legal cannabis dispensary in exchange for a Platinum vape cartridge.

“Our partner, Platinum Vape, came to us and said, ‘We want to do something about this vape crisis and we want to learn a little bit more,’” John Butters, VP of Strategy for Mankind, tells Cannabis Business Times. “We had similar goals. We heard about some of the scary things that are out there in some of the illicit-market vapes and some of the problems they were causing, and we wanted to get an idea of how it was affecting our local community. So, we said yes, and we allowed customers to come down with any illicit market vape they had and [they] could trade it in with a small cost for a Platinum vape cart. There has to be a small cost for it to be legal.”

Two dozen cartridges collected during the program were viable for testing and were released to Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs to undergo testing for potency, pesticides, heavy metals and vitamin E acetate. Samples passed or failed these tests based on the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s testing regulations for the legal cannabis market.

“We saw that 79% of them were deemed as unfit for consumption overall,” Josh Swider, co-founder and CFO of Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs, tells Cannabis Business Times. “About 80% wouldn’t have passed the California compliance regulations.”

Sixty-two percent of the cartridges failed for pesticides, while 37% failed for lead.

“One of them [tested] extremely high [for lead]—approximately 100 times the limit,” Swider says.

Five cartridges contained 20% or more vitamin E acetate.

“When you consider they’re supposed to be zero, those levels are beyond alarming,” Platinum President George Sadler tells Cannabis Business Times. “[Vitamin E acetate] was in five cartridges, which is telling us that those cartridges more than likely came from the same illicit manufacturer because the consistency was there in just those five cartridges.”

Half of the products tested contained less than 50% THC, while the average legal cannabis vape cartridge contains 60% to 95% THC.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Melissa Schiller on Cannabis Business Times
Published: March 05, 2020
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