Two vape shops along Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach are still in business after police discovered they sold numerous CBD products containing illegal amounts of THC to an undercover officer, according to a S.C. Law Enforcement Division investigation.
Blue Smoke Vape Shop, located at 6703 N. Kings Highway, and Smoke Life Smoke and Vape Shop, at 601 S. Kings Highway, both received letters of reprimand on Feb. 28 from Myrtle Beach police after an undercover sting revealed their cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, contained illegal levels of THC.
Products sold in Blue Smoke Vape Shop, including Blue Dream and Grand Daddy Purp, each contained .43 percent of THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, according to a forensic report conducted by SLED.
Smoke Life Smoke and Vape Shop sold items labeled as Obama Kush and Pineapple Express to the undercover officer, and both tested positive for a .48 percent concentration of THC, according to SLED.
Legally, CBD oil can contain up to .3 percent of THC.
Video surveillance from the police sting, acquired by The Sun News via a Freedom of Information Act request, also shows clerks in both shops telling the undercover officer he would get high off the products being sold.
Footage from Smoke Life Vape and Smoke documents the clerk informing the undercover officer that she had “weed” behind the counter. When the officer asks how much THC is in the product, she replies “enough to get you high.”
Blue Smoke Vape Shop footage shows the store clerk recommending products that gave him the strongest high. Police surveillance also shows the clerk advising the undercover officer to avoid using any products within days of a drug test, explaining that the test would come up positive for marijuana.
Several attempts to reach Zohar Gross, who owns both shops, went unanswered.
With a surge of vape and smoke shops opening throughout Myrtle Beach, police began testing CBD oils and edibles last year to ensure products didn’t exceed the legal amount of THC.
While letters were issued to Gross last month, both shops were open this week.
An employee at Smoke Life Smoke and Vape Shop indicated Gross is only present in the store for “10 minutes” every month.
Both letters, also acquired by The Sun News via a Freedom of Information Act request, cited issues of concern with marijuana paraphernalia being disguised as household products; the interior design of the business painted in psychedelic colors; merchandise being marketed to “promote the use of marijuana and mimic the purchase of marijuana;” and how the clerk never inquired about the undercover officers age or requested identification during the sale.
“The open sale of marijuana is deeply concerning to the Myrtle Beach Police Department who is tasked with protecting public safety and enforcing the laws of this State,” both letters state. “This will be your only notice.”
Myrtle Beach police Cpl. Thomas Vest said both businesses didn’t receive any additional enforcement action other than the warnings that were issued last month. He said the department is focused on spreading educational awareness on products sold in smoke and vape shops.