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Vape Cartridges Worth Millions Destroyed on Video

The cartridges had been quarantined for months following the EVALI outbreak of 2019 and no longer met quality standards.

Thorn Yang

A Massachusetts marijuana company destroyed 40,000 vape cartridges valued at $2.6 million. And the demolition was filmed, so you can watch the Cannabis carnage from multiple angles. 

Some readers may be inclined to look away, horrified by the idea of destroying precious pot products. However, the firm behind the stunt, Temescal Wellness – with locations in Framingham, Hudson and Pittsfield – says it was acting in the best interest of its customers.

Prior to the quarantines caused by the coronavirus pandemic beginning in the spring of 2020, vape cartridges were subject to their own quarantine in Massachusetts following the vaping lung illness outbreak in 2019 (EVALI). Gov. Charlie Baker banned vape sales in September 2019 and weed regulators called for a quarantine of all Cannabis-infused vape cartridges in November.

While the vape ban ended after several months, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission waited until August 2020 to lift the quarantine and allow cartridges produced before December 12, 2019 to be sold, after being tested for vitamin E acetate (the likely cause of the outbreak) and heavy metal content. 

The cartridges demolished by Temescal Wellness were quarantined vapes that had been shelved for months and produced over a year ago. According to a press release, the company felt the cartridges no longer met their quality standards and made the decision to destroy all 40,000 in spectacular fashion (at a rate of approximately 2,000 an hour).

The EVALI outbreak took a toll on the vape market, even after sales resumed in early 2020. Temescal Wellness VP of Sales and Marketing Linda Katz told masslive.com that vape sales were down 24 percent as of August 2020. Meanwhile, sales of edibles and concentrates were on the rise and purchases of flower remained steady, according to Katz.Naturally, it will take time for the market to regain its confidence in vape products. In the meantime, if you’d like to see $2.6 million of Cannabis concentrate cartridges ground up in slow motion and set to music, click here. Of course, if you’d rather remember these Cannabis carts intact, we understand entirely.