Business Crime Law Local News

Los Angeles Vape District A Black-Market Gateway

A five-block section of downtown Los Angeles that used to be part of the city’s Toy District has become ground zero for the nation’s counterfeit cannabis trade. While a few remaining stores sell fidget spinners and stuffed animals, the majority are hawking vape cartridges, e-juice flavors, vaporizers and other wholesale smoking and vaping supplies — including knockoffs that originated in China.

The vaping industry is under scrutiny as more people fall ill with a mysterious respiratory illness linked to e-cigarette use. Health officials are investigating nearly 1,500 cases in 49 states and the District of Columbia, including 33 deaths. In California, more than 135 residents have fallen ill, at least three of whom died, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Shipments of vaping supplies arrive in the alleyways behind  dozens of wholesale shops. The seedy district is bounded by Skid Row on one side and Little Tokyo’s skyscrapers on the other. It is considered a black-market gateway to the United States, allowing the production and sale of fake products to flourish. 

Although it’s unclear what exactly is causing the illness, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said most of the patients used products containing THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana — particularly from products obtained off the street, from friends or family, or from illicit dealers.

In Los Angeles, some shop owners blame the vaping illnesses on untested products and devices sold to consumers on the black market — even though some are themselves part of that distribution chain.

Shipments of vaping supplies arrive in the alleyways behind dozens of wholesale shops. The seedy district is bounded by Skid Row on one side and Little Tokyo’s skyscrapers on the other. It is considered a black-market gateway to the United States, allowing the production and sale of fake products to flourish.

The warehouses here sell only to wholesale buyers, most of them retail vape shop owners who descend from around the state with shopping lists literally in hand to buy trending vape flavors, cartridges and box mods in bulk. Some shop owners, who consider themselves legitimate, say bootleggers are buying ripoff vape packaging and cartridges mimicking popular brands and filling them with potentially dangerous counterfeit products. 

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Heidi de Marco on Black Voice News

Published: October 29, 2019

SHARE
RELATED POSTS
Cannabis Startups Generate More Jobs in Los Angeles
Marijuana Delivery Giant Eaze may go Up in Smoke
Bitcoin (BTC) Now Used to Buy Legal Cannabis in the US and Canada

Leave Your Reply

*