Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

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Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

Mica
Channel 3 WTKR



For Mexican drug cartels, marijuana remains big business but they’re turning their attention to an even more potent product now crossing our border.

It looks like motor oil but the black watery tar sitting in five-gallon buckets is nearly pure THC concentrate.

“I started to see the people that would usually backpack marijuana through the desert were now backpacking up crude oil,” said Detective Matthew Shay with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The concentrate is made using a complex process of stripping the THC off of plants. What’s left is distilled and filtered even further, creating a product that began at about 6% THC into one that carries a THC content of more than 80%.

Shay says it takes about 250 pounds of low-grade commercial marijuana to produce a five-gallon bucket of crude cannabis oil. Once in a concentrated form, profits can skyrocket. Each bucket could produce more than $500,000 in vaping cartridges.

“These are all black-market cartridges — none of these are from a licensed dispensary. These are all ones we’ve recovered in the last year,” said Shay, pointing at packaging easily purchased on the internet.

Once the crude oil from the cartels hits the streets, local dealers begin cutting the product with additives like vitamin E acetate – a compound linked to the nationwide vaping illness.

ABC15 had a couple questions about the product:

ABC15: “Do you suspect vitamin E acetate will be found in any of this stuff?”

Shay: “Oh yeah, sure. Oh yeah, no doubt.”

ABC15: “How much are Americans habits driving how they deliver what drugs to us?”

Shay: “Well that’s the whole business right? If there isn’t a market, there’s no reason to be shipping the stuff up.”

Using vape cartridges to deliver THC is now the most popular way of consuming marijuana.

It’s that demand that fuels the cartel’s new strategy – creating a risk no one should take.

“The black market cannabis cartridges are going to be hazardous, period,” said Shay.

Labs are testing the crude oil to find out exactly what kind of chemicals are in this product.

At this point we don’t know for certain that the cartels’ concentrate is indeed linked to the nationwide outbreak of lung illness that’s sickened thousands across the country.
Kab
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Re: Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

Kab
It's nothing like motor oil.  Motor oil is low viscosity with a dark/rainbowish reflection.

THC oil hash is extremely annoyingly viscous, sticky, potent, and in cold conditions it's very malleable.

I know because I've done it myself, smoked it, and recently pleasantly surprised to find some at my local dispensery.

You use, preferably, very refined butane.  I'm sure there are other methods, but I personally used a glass, hollow tube, one side fully open and the other end a small hole to enject the butane.  Pack the tube with marijuana, block the open end with cheesecloth and a rubber band and, and start stripping the THC with the butane by injecting it through the small hole.  For each packed glass tube, it'll take 1-2 butane bottles, or when the liquid coming out is clear.  Collect the oil in a glass container, put it over very low heat, and mix it to get rid of any trapped butane.  Do this till there are no bubbles in the oil hash and Voila! 40-80% grade THC oil.  During the heating process, it may change color, I've gotten dark tar hash oil, all the way to bright orange.
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Re: Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

blanco puro
Kab - The method (using butane) you mentioned makes SHATTER, while the product caught (used in vape cartridges) is DISTILLATE, which is even purer. Like 99%
Tons of it here in Canada! and LEGAL!
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Re: Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

Parro
THC concentrate originally sold in vials.  Poured on top of tin foil, lit and inhaled.  A decent high.  THC poured onto a joint, smoked a more intense high.  Pounds of pot, sifted, cleaned and distilled and baked?  Deadly.  Don't discredit Mexican weed.   This is not a new form, but an old product, similar to hash oil from Lebanon and Morocco.  Although, it's been many years, Lebanese Blonde and Morrocan Red were kind highs.  Mexican distilled THC?  How did not anyone overdose with that product?  Kind've like edibles, take it slow, very slow.

THC - not regulated.  Consume at your own risk, especially when you are outside the legal system.  You can greatly regret it.
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Re: Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

canadiana
Administrator
In reply to this post by blanco puro
Yup looks like clear (no colour)shards of shattered glass and no smell when smoked!
Kab
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Re: Drug cartels caught carrying new form of marijuana across border

Kab
In reply to this post by blanco puro
Thanks for clearing that out.

Wouldn't mind trying some of that distilled stuff in my bong.