Vape sales have plummeted at marijuana dispensaries after the outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has killed 12 people and left hundreds injured.

Vaping industry officials blame black market cannabis refill cartridges for the lung disease epidemic that has spread across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control has activated its Emergency Operations Center, while the federal government has signalled its intent to ban flavoured e-cigarettes.

This has caused vape sales at legal dispensaries across the U.S. to nosedive, according to sales data from online marketplace Jane Technologies, Inc.

New Frontier Data has crunched the numbers and found that vapes’ share of the marijuana market declined by 15% during the week commencing Sept. 9. It said that states where only medicinal marijuana is legal and states with high canna-tourism rates, such as Nevada and Massachusetts, saw the greatest declines.

Oregon also saw a sharp decrease, as a victim there was linked to legal products.

New Frontier’s report said that established adult-use markets like California, Colorado, and Washington saw the smallest declines, indicating that consumers in those mature markets have confidence in the brands and products they have been using over a prolonged period of time. It also reported that sales of flower, pre-rolls, and tinctures increased when vape sales were down, showing that consumption remained steady and shoppers have simply reallocated their spending.

Vapes actually increased market share in Florida and Colorado, while New Mexico and Oregon saw the greatest decline over the preceding three-month average, at 65% and 62% respectively.

New Frontier estimated the vape market at $9.6 billion between 2017 and 2019, but it could dwindle in the wake of the recent negative publicity.

Police in Minnesota seized 76,972 illegal vape cartridges loaded with cannabis-derived THC oil this week during a raid at a home in Coon Rapids, near Minneapolis. A man was arrested and fake cash was also discovered.

Officials in Wisconsin are investigating a separate case after finding 31,200 illegal cartridges containing a gram of THC apiece at a home earlier this month. They discovered a further 98,000 that were yet to be filled.

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