As illnesses spread, fake vape gear sells on LA streets

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s not hard to find the materials to produce counterfeit marijuana vapes in California.

Packaging and hardware to produce authentic-looking copies of popular name brands are on sale in downtown Los Angeles, a short walk from police headquarters.

The ready availability of replica packaging helps explain an explosion in counterfeiting in California. And that counterfeiting could be contributing to an emerging health crisis with vape-related lung illnesses.

Once purchased, a counterfeiter can add untested, and possibly dangerous, marijuana oil to the empty cartridge. The oil is widely available in the state’s illegal market — even online.

The rip-offs have gotten so bad that Kingpen, a major legal brand, is planning a complete makeover of its packaging.

The counterfeit vapes look convincing to the untrained eye, some even carrying fake stickers to make it appear state approved.

Categories: California News