About $3.8 million in illegal vaping cartridges seized in Minnesota
Nearly 77,000 illegal vaping cartridges were seized from a home in Minnesota in what authorities say is the largest haul in the state’s history.
A drug task force discovered 76,972 cartridges loaded with illegal cannabis-derived THC oil Monday while executing a search warrant at a home in Coon Rapids, north of Minneapolis, said New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier.
The cartridges are believed to have been manufactured out of state. Their total street value is up to $3.8 million, Fournier said.
A man was arrested and $23,000 in counterfeit dollars was found during the search, authorities said.
Charges against the man were pending Tuesday afternoon. Law enforcement officials did not discuss what led to Monday’s raid.
The raid comes in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping, which is currently being investigated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.
Nationwide there have been nine known vaping-related deaths, including one in Minnesota.
Daniel Huff, assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Health, said there are currently 43 confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in the state and all the cases “have admitted to vaping illegal THC.”
“We just do not know what’s in these products,” Huff said.
State officials said they are reviewing an additional 24 cases.
Earlier Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called for a temporary statewide ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping products in response to the outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping across the country.
Massachusetts would be the first state to issue such a ban, which would last through January 25, 2020. It would apply to all vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana, according to the governor’s office.
Michigan and New York have instituted temporary bans on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes.