Fentanyl found in vape additives, Picayune Police urge caution

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics recently issued a health and public safety alert after finding the deadly narcotic fentanyl in a vape additive being sold at a Brandon convenience store.

According to a MBN release, on Aug. 8 fentanyl was detected in a vial of spice that was seized from a Brandon convenience store. After the narcotic was discovered warrants were issued and law enforcement officers searched about half a dozen vape shops and convenience stores around the metro Jackson area, the release states.

“Fentanyl, a highly regulated narcotic used as part of anesthesia to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedure, is the most potent opioid available for medical treatment. It is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin,” the release states.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The vial of spice the narcotic was sold in was labeled as a natural CBD oil product under the brand “Diamond CBD.”

CBD oil is defined under Mississippi code 41-29-136 as a, “processed cannabis plant extract, oil or resin that contains more than fifteen percent cannabidiol, or a dilution of the resin that contains at least fifty milligrams of cannabidiol per milliliter, but not more than one-half of one percent of tetrahydrocannabinol.”

CBD oil under this definition is only legal with a medical prescription and has to have been obtained or tested by a legally authorized party.

However, there are certain variants of CBD that are not regulated and can be legally sold in stores. Products exempt from regulation include lotions, shampoos, soaps, or oil with a minimum ratio of 20-to-1 cannabidiol to THC ratio and diluted to contain at least 50 milligrams of cannabidiol per milliliter, the code states. It must also not contain more than two and a half milligrams of THC per milliliter to be sold commercially.

Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said last year there was a complaint about one of the local vape stores selling a CBD vape additive, so officers retrieved a warrant and seized all of the related products to have them tested. After sending the product to a lab, the results came back in favor of the business so their product was turned back over to them.

“No arrests were made – we just had them tested. We wanted to make sure they didn’t contain any fentynol or anything that would harm anyone. The products all fell within the law and were returned to the business,” Magri said.

While the business’ vape additives fell within the legal cannabidiol/THC ratio, Magri still advised caution when purchasing over the counter CBD products.

“I don’t suggest anyone try any over the counter synthetic type of narcotic because you never know what you’re getting. It hasn’t been tested and you don’t know what you’re getting. It’s like playing Russian roulette,” Magri said.

“Now that fentanyl has been found in the Spice vials seized last week, people need to understand that the vape high could very likely lead to death,” MBN Director John Dowdy said in the release.