How the vaping epidemic is impacting the industry

Published Nov 3, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / 6okean

What is the relationship between vaping and the cannabis industry?

Vaping cannabis has been a manner of consuming for quite some time, but is it the convenience, the discretion, lack of burn holes in your best shirt, or no tell-tale smell that holds the attraction?

What is happening now in the throws’ of the mysterious vape illness?

Weed consumers have long been under the assumption that vaping was an acceptable alternative to smoking or combusting weed, as far as safety and health, but this may not be the case. To date there have been over 1300 mysterious vape illness cases, and researchers still have no idea what is causing it.

Is this why in states where weed is legal, they are telling people to stop vaping?

Millions of people throughout the United States, choose to inhale cannabis through a different method than they did back in the day. Today the joints and pipes filled with bud have some competition. The consumer is choosing to use the sleek looking devices that are filled with flavorful cannabis oil called THC cartridges. It is estimated by specialists in the cannabis industry that vaping products could be as much as thirty percent of their business.

The cannabis vaping market silently grew in popularity with few agencies overseeing the safety or quality of products.  The effects of THC on the lungs when vaped does not get the same amount of study and research as the e-cigarette, or tobacco cigarettes.

Money was not readily provided for research and study into vapes

A professor of medicine and research on nicotine and vaping, from the University of California, San Francisco, warned congress last year of the posing risks of this widespread practice, vaping. His interest indicated that this huge practice of consuming THC was going unstudied.


How is this epidemic affecting the cannabis industry today?

The current president of the United Cannabis Business Association, which represents 165 Californian legalized dispensaries, believes that vape pens purchased in states where marijuana is legal are likely safe. These vape products have had their ingredients regulated and have been quality tested by the state.

The problem is the black market vape cartridges are cheaper. A regulated vape pen is about $55 for half a gram of THC; on the street, this will cost $25.00. Today legal cannabis vapes are taking a hit. Dispensaries in Detroit are noticing the decline in sales.

Operators of The Reef dispensary is trying to counteract public response

His staff explained that many of the vape mysterious illness cases that have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are caused by the use of black-market THC products.

Other medical marijuana dispensaries, similar to the one in Ann Arbor, have reported a noted decline in vape sales, but they are also finding that education is helping to put customers at ease. The dispensary has a message to all clients and potential customers, which is, purchase your products from regulated suppliers. That ensures the safety of knowing what is in the THC cartridge, unlike buying from the illicit seller.

However, there is one dispensary owner, says that his vape sales have increased since the outbreak. This owner believes that it could be due to the constant shortage of cannabis flower in Michigan. Flowers are the preferred method of consumption for people with a medical marijuana license in this state; however, with the shortage, more consumers are switching to vaping. It is clear that the vape mysterious illness epidemic is affecting the cannabis industry; what is unclear to some is what is more critical, the financial impact, or the adverse health concerns.

How to spot a fake vape pen


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