Armed Guards, Secret Location: Inside an Illegal Marijuana Bazaar Publicized on Instagram

How did you find out about this place? Is it your first time? Are you a cop?

Richard Vogel/AP (File)

Shopping for illicit vape cartridges on Instagram is astonishingly simple. Open the app, plug in a hashtag such as #vapecartsforsale and — voilà — multiple posts appear with pictures of THC cartridges. In the comments or caption section, sellers advertise their products and post phone numbers for would-be buyers.

“Shop here everything is good,” one seller wrote above a phone number.

“Everything must go,” another wrote in a separate post.

The CDC has identified a bootleg brand of THC cartridges called Dank Vapes as the source of several vape-related illnesses. NBC News has previously reported that the bogus brand’s cartridges contain contaminants such as hydrogen cyanide and vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent identified by the CDC as one of the likely culprits in the outbreak.

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