California's fraudulent marijuana rip-offs could be linked to the emerging public health crisis due to steam-related deaths, according to a new report.
In recent weeks, hundreds of people in the US have become sick and months, mainly due to the evaporation of cannabis oil. Seven deaths were reported, at least Monday in Tulare County, California.
Health authorities are not sure what causes the difficulty in breathing, vomiting and other symptoms, but in California they indicated that most patients have purchased vapes from pop-up shops or other illegal vendors who build a pipeline for counterfeit products represent.
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Here's how it works: Bootleggers Want to Profit from Unsuspecting Consumers Mimicking Popular, Legal Vape Brands, and Combine replica packaging produced in Chinese factories with untested, potentially dangerous cannabis oil produced on the state's vast underground market. The original looking cartridges are sold by unlicensed pharmacies and delivery services along with fraudulent websites.
The problem is so widespread that a large legal brand, Kingpen, has invested millions of dollars in redesigning their packaging and product safety, AP has learned.
The distributor of another major brand, Heavy Hitters, dedicates part of its website to counterfeiting and instructs the former Attorney General, Priya Sopori, to fight against counterfeiting.
"The Danger The presentation of counterfeit products is only a natural consequence of the lack of money, resources or people's power to enforce licenses," said Sopori. "Someone buys this packaging, buys these cartridges and fills them with whatever. It is sold as our brand.
As marijuana became mainstream, versions of e-cigarettes that vaporize highly-induced cannabis oil are among the best-selling items of a joint light. Aside from the belief that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, science is not just advocating the speedy delivery of highs.
In the Californian legal market, the largest in the world, cannabis oil must be tested before it can be put on the market for sale on the shelf. For example, safety tests are carried out on 66 pesticides, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, as well as 21
But it can be difficult to tell consumers whether a product they buy is made by a legitimate business. The fake packaging convinces the untrained eye, some even carry false labels, which apparently contain the test results required by the state. Most consumers would probably not recognize the difference – until they take it. The taste and THC content may differ significantly from the authentic product.
To increase the confusion, it may be difficult for consumers to distinguish legal pharmacies from unlicensed businesses that are sometimes operated in the same neighborhood in Los Angeles and are indistinguishable.
] "My biggest fear of counterfeiting is that people get an unsafe and illegal product and think it's from our company, a legal company," says Bryce Berryessa, board member of the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, their Skunk company Feather is
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Faced with the disease caused by fumes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers against fumes of any THC products contain. While some states, notably New York, have not identified any specific additive, ingredient, or substance for steamer disease, health authorities have linked some of the diseases to vitamin E acetate in marijuana steamers.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.