New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier says the lead investigator of a bust in Coon Rapids was actually a New Hope police officer who is part of the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force. A record 75,000 vaping cartridges filled with potent THC were confiscated in Anoka County.
Most of the cartridges came in colorful packages with names like “Fruity Pebbles” and “Strawberry Shortcake.” Police say the vaping business often targets young people.
Experts say that using illegal THC cartridges can be very dangerous because the ingredients aren’t always clear.
“I want to urge all parents, have conversations with your kids, your loved ones, anybody that you know that are using these cartridges,” said Brian Marquart, from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. “Stop using them. Get help. Go to treatment. Have conversations about the dangers.”
Vaping Cartridges Have High THC content
Police at the New Hope press conference say the THC-laced vaping cartridges have a street value of $3.8 million. Officers also found marijuana and over $23,000 of counterfeit money at the suspect’s residence in Coon Rapids.
Medical personnel are trying to figure out what exactly is in these vaping cartridges that makes people sick. Typical marijuana THC content is 13 to 15 percent, while some of the vaping cartridges are over 90 percent.
“These types of products are available for purchase in supplier states that have already passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana,” said New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier. “You think this is a problem now, wait until cannabis products become commercially available in Minnesota. This is yet another example of why we should pause, take our time before passing similar laws in this state.”
Eric Nelson, reporting
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