December 9, 2016 | by Staff
Since vaping has become a more (or less) socially acceptable form of smoking, vape shops are popping up as often as Starbucks. Their numbers are proliferating, especially in areas that have come down very hard on smoking. And, with the growth in the vape economy expanding at the same time as the cannabis economy, you might be asking, “Is vaping a hi-tech bong?”
Vaping presents a lucrative retail opportunity for those looking to take the risk. Customers look for an alternative to the risks of tobacco, a desire to break with cigarette stigma or just to have some fun.
Big cities and strip malls no longer have the monopoly on their spread. Small towns and major highways, university campus neighborhoods and industrial complexes, all have addresses for vape stores.
Vaping doesn’t happen without an inventory of supplies and accessories. Cannapreneurs are finding new career paths in invention and innovation. They design and manufacture the vapors, tools, batteries and liquids involved. One business has even come up with new pipe bowl-like vapors produced on 3-D printers.
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Other people are venturing into businesses formulating and manufacturing small and large batches of the e-liquids required for adding flavor and aroma to the smoke. And, businesses like this have spawned vape-specific supply chains and online purchasing. In addition to the wide variety of e-cigs, they produce and sell battery cases, coil kits, cleaners and replacement parts.
At an estimated $2.5 billion, the overall vapor category -- open systems plus electronic cigarettes -- experienced 23% annual growth in 2014, with open system devices having a considerable impact on the industry's continued success. In fact, according to Wells Fargo, open system sales are now growing twice as fast as the overall vapor category. As a result, though e-cigarettes previously represented the majority of the vapor market's sales just six months ago, open system devices have quickly surpassed them, accounting for 60% of all U.S. vaporizer sales.
Keep in mind that was a 2014 prediction. Since that time, optimism has been tempered by regulatory threats to the huge markets in the United States, European Union and China.
You cannot ignore the apparent coincidence between the growth in the vaping industry and the cannabis industry. And, since legislative permission and restriction may determine their respective futures, you might be asking yourself if vaping is just a discrete way of using marijuana. The answer is often a resounding “Yes!”
The main thrust of marketing for e-cigarettes and vaporizers aims to attract smokers away from tobacco use, help them wean off tobacco or simply offer a new experience. Pricing and “sin taxes” have not deterred customers, and the market has grown.
At the same time, vape promotions make no secret of its use for cannabis consumption. Users report a strong high using oil derived from cannabis and available in a variety of strains and textures.
You have to get advice on the most appropriate vape devices and on keeping yours clean. But, it can produce an intensely flavored high.
Using vaping bud can be safer than using the oil that requires a higher heat. Vaporizers heat the plant material to just short of the combustion point. Some devices let you regulate the temperatures and the number of cannabinoids and aromatic components released.
According to allbud.com, this provides “an alternative to inhaling charred plant matter and all of its associated toxic tars, carcinogens and respiratory irritants.”
Both the vaping economy and the cannabis economy depend on future legislation. But, markets will beget other markets. Regulation will inspire and necessitate innovation. And, markets will find their way above or below ground.
A black market economy, after all, is merely an unofficial economy free of taxes and reporting its news. So, if vaping is a hi-tech bong, it is just the current acceptable delivery channel. Restrictions will only produce another option.
Categories: Cannabis Vaping
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