Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
A couple weeks ago, Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard received several complaints from worried parents. Their children were behaving strangely and throwing up.
Woodard got word that high-schoolers were purchasing a substance called Black Magic from local vape stores. The liquid substance, sealed and packaged in a vial, is inhaled through an e-cigarette vaporizer pen.
“It was making them sick,” Woodard said.
Woodard said detectives immediately began an investigation into the unknown substance being sold. He said after several undercover controlled purchases, they sent the Black Magic packages off to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation for further testing. The results were consistent with cannabidiol, or CBD oil, as well as synthetic cannabinoids, which are illegal under state law. Synthetic marijuana products are listed as Schedule I controlled substances.
On Tuesday, detectives executed search warrants at four local vape stores in Wilson — 252 Tobacco Shop, Vapor Plus, Smoker’s Palace and Kick Ash Vape Lounge.
Officials spent the afternoon confiscating multiple packages of Black Magic from those businesses. Officials said they seized a total of 50 dosage units of Black Magic.
“Our main objective now is to get it off the shelves,” Woodard said.
No charges have been filed against the owners of the four stores, but officials said the investigation is ongoing.
Woodard said he wanted to get the illegal product off the shelves so that kids couldn’t purchase and use it.
“And make the people at the store aware how serious this issue is,” he added.
Woodard said he also wanted parents and others in the community to be aware of the danger and share information about the vape liquid.
He said the Black Magic product being sold at those stores did not list ingredients on the back of the package. And the packaging states, “legal in all 50 states.”
“Kids were going in and purchasing this stuff,” Woodard said. “We didn’t waste any time. It’s good that we were able to stay on top of it before we started seeing cases at our hospitals. Kids were throwing up, getting very high and displaying unusual behavior.”
Woodard said people need to be aware that these vape liquids do not disclose their true contents and are not only dangerous, but could be deadly.
A few days ago, authorities in Concord arrested two vape store owners for allegedly selling bottles of cannabidiol, or CBD oil. The investigation came after more than a dozen students went to the hospital after ingesting the substance, according to local news outlets.
Woodard said parents’ concerns and calls to the sheriff’s office sparked the investigation and called it a prime example of the community working with law enforcement to solve an issue.