Of­fi­cials list pot vape brands from out­break

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD - By Mike Sto­bbe

NEW YORK — Health of­fi­cials in­ves­ti­gat­ing a na­tion­wide out­break of va­p­ing ill­nesses have listed, for the first time, the vape brands most com­monly linked to hos­pi­tal­iza­tions.

Most of the nearly 2,300 peo­ple who suf­fered lung dam­age had vaped liq­uids that con­tain THC, the high­in­duc­ing part of mar­i­juana.

In a re­port re­leased Fri­day, the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion

listed the prod­ucts most of­ten cited by pa­tients, not­ing that some of them said they vaped more than one.

Dank Vapes was the brand used by 56% of the hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients na­tion­wide.

Dank is not a li­censed prod­uct com­ing from one busi­ness, it is empty pack­ag­ing that can be or­dered from Chi­nese in­ter­net sites. Il­licit va­p­ing car­tridge mak­ers can buy the empty pack­ages and then fill them with what­ever they choose.

Other prod­uct names at the top of the list from CDC were TKO (15%), Smart Cart (13%) and Rove (12%).

“It’s not likely that a sin­gle brand is re­spon­si­ble for this out­break,” said Brian King, a se­nior CDC of­fi­cial in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Some of the brands cited by the CDC are sold in states with le­gal­ized mar­i­juana. But coun­ter­feits of those le­git­i­mate brands have flooded the mar­ket around the coun­try, forc­ing some to re­design their pack­ag­ing.

Bill Loucks, co-founder of TKO Prod­ucts, said his com­pany sells only to li­censed dis­pen­saries in Cal­i­for­nia, but the com­pany gets emails ask­ing about TKO-branded car­tridges pur­chased else­where.

“If you bought them out­side of Cal­i­for­nia you are the proud owner of fakes,“Loucks said in an email.

The CDC also said that the worst of the out­break may be over. Pre­lim­i­nary data in­di­cates hos­pi­tal­iza­tions peaked in mid-Septem­ber and have been de­clin­ing since, of­fi­cials said.

ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP

Some of the brands cited are sold in states with le­gal­ized mar­i­juana. But coun­ter­feits have flooded the mar­ket.

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