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THC cartridge busts spiking, Milwaukee-area vape dealers making "millions" a month

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RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Racine County Sheriff Chris Schmaling says his department keeps finding large quantities of cartridges.

“Whether it be on search warrants that we issue through our metro drug unit, or on general traffic stops, through Racine County, we are seeing a number of cartridges," Schmaling said. "Several of them contain THC.”

A recent Milwaukee County criminal complaint shows drug dealers telling police they can make up to $2 million a month.

Schmaling says drug dealers are bringing in major dollars.

“There is a lot of money," Schmaling said. "We look at a single cartridge, which contains 1 to 1.1 grams of THC. Sells for between 30 to 50 dollars per cartridge.”

The dealers Milwaukee Police arrested say they make about $5 profit a cartridge, which would require selling 400,000 cartridges a month.

Schmaling says THC is prevalent and difficult to stop because it looks like e-cigarettes.

“My office is right here on main street," Schmaling said. "I see people out here vaping. Walking down the street and vaping. What are they vaping? Your guess is as good as mine.”

Schmaling says most of the cartridges he’s found we’re coming through i-94, but he can’t say if they were produced professionally in state’s with legal marijuana or made by local dealers.

“People are coming forward with some serious lung issues, and some other issues. We’re not looking at that right now. What we’re seeing is that we have people that are buying the stuff, and they’re not aware of what they’re putting into their bodies.”

Schmaling added, despite national perception about marijuana, it is still illegal in Wisconsin. He says you will be arrested if you’re found with it.

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