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Utah Highway Patrol arrests three people in Iron County for carrying 2,000 THC vape cartridges

CEDAR CITY, UTAH — A trooper in Iron County pulled over a Chevrolet SUV for following another car too closely and found more than 2,000 THC Vape cartridges.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled over the car on Sept. 29 as it was heading north on I-15 and saw marijuana in plain view. According to the report, none of the three men in the car had a medical reason that qualified them for having the marijuana.

The trooper became more suspicious as he questioned the men and searched the vehicle. The search found 2,030 THC vape cartridges, a bottle of Oxycodone, and three glass jars containing marijuana.

The individuals bought the cartridges at a dispensary in Las Vegas and they were heading to Kansas City, Missouri. They were arrested on suspicion of distributing a controlled substance.

UHP Sergeant Nick Street says the next step is to bring the case to a prosecutor. He says a lieutenant started seeing more vape cartridges in 2018 along with loose leaf marijuana.

Street says that in 2019, UHP seized 39,908 THC vape cartridges. That’s about $1.2 million in vape cartridges confiscated by state troopers.

He says the Utah Highway Patrol has also confiscated 14,951 grams of marijuana “dab pens,” which use heat plates with small pieces of marijuana which are combusted and inhaled.

Street says that at first glance it’s very difficult for police to tell the difference between vapes with THC or other drugs and vapes with nicotine.

The Utah Department of Health announced that as of September 30 of this year 71 cases of vaping-related lung disease have been reported in Utah, with 10 potential cases being investigated. The department says that vaping THC cartridges is likely causing this outbreak of lung injury.