Marijuana Vaping Busts Skyrocket

By Desiree Bowie 12/04/19

Over the past two years more than 510,000 marijuana vaping cartridges have been seized by authorities across the nation.

Marijuana vaping oil
ID 121000076 © Dmitry Tishchenko |

The recent wave of vaping illnesses and deaths has pushed authorities to crack down on illegal vaping cartridges, cranking the number of seizures of illegal marijuana vaping products through the roof in 2019.  

According to the Associated Press, over the past two years more than 510,000 marijuana vaping cartridges have been seized by authorities across the nation. More than 120 people have been arrested in connection with the products. 

Big Busts In 2019

In November a 30-year-old Minnesota man was caught speeding in Nebraska and police wound up searching his vehicle after "detecting the presence of a controlled substance." Inside the vehicle, they found 386 containers of THC wax, 144 packages of THC shatter, 62 THC vape cartridges, 39 containers of THC edibles and liquid products, and four pounds of marijuana. 

Nealry 1,000 pounds of marijuana and 2,000 vaping cartridges were seized during a routine traffic stop in North Texas in late November. The drugs were on their way to North Carolina. 

In October, a tip from a concerned anonymous source, led Wisconsin authorities seize more than 10,000 vaping cartridges, 18 pounds of marijuana and $950k. 

North Phoenix authorities had their own massive bust in September when they were able to seize $380,000 worth of drugs including THC vaping cartridges while serving a warrant. 

Daniel Ray Hawkins and Benjamin Blake Lumpkin were arrested in North Carolina. They stand accused of running a DMT lab (DMT AKA dimethyltryptamin is a powerful hallucinogenic drug) and putting DMT into marijuana vape pens. The DMT found inside the house was worth an estimated $4 million

“The solution to decreasing the risk associated with THC vapor products lies in continuing towards a legalized and regulated market, not increased criminalization and arrests,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri.

Vaping Illnesses

While busts appear to be ramping up as vaping illnesses and deaths continue to rise on a daily basis. As of November 21, the CDC's Latest Outbreak Information for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injuries (EVALI) reports that there are now 2,290 cases of EVALI and 47 deaths linked to the illness. Alaska, which was the only state unaffected by vaping illnesses, reported their first case on Tuesday. 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie