Ecigs and Weed

Posted 5th January 2017 by Mawsley
When voters gave their backing to Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, they also delivered support for the legalisation of recreational marijuana in eight of the nine states putting it on the ballot. Other regions began to head down that path by legalising medical cannabis. Concerns about the weed’s widespread adoption show echoes of the anti-vape movement.

It is being reported: “nearly one quarter of U.S. residents will now live in states that allow the recreational use of marijuana.” It’s news that will not sit well with some.

Not so long ago, Stanton Glantz was crowing about California’s clamp down on vaping: “We can get rid of tobacco as a public health problem without adopting the industry’s phony ‘harm reduction’ strategies. We don’t need their e-cigarettes, which are presented as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, when, in fact, they extend and protect the cigarette market by attracting youth and young adults and deterring quitting for most, but not all, adult smokers.”

With California numbering among the new adopters of cannabis, how will Glantz be feeling now? It’s all the more poignant when consideration is given to the biggest shift in weed use. Les Hagen, of Smoke Free Alberta, told journalists that a third of users mix tobacco with marijuana. “Tobacco is the more addictive substance, tobacco is the more deadly substance,” he said. “So when people roll the two together they risk a lifetime of nicotine addiction and all the health consequences that go along with it.”

The cannabis industry initially embraced ecig technology. It has become so big that it’s generated a world of satellite organisation to provide financial and strategic planning. Viridian is one such company, and its director pointed out: “This industry is pretty much of a rising tide; it lifts all boats. So, I don’t know about avoiding a particular sector. One of the sectors that we have some concern about, competitively, is the [cannabis] vape sector.”

Viridian’s Scott Greiper noted that as everybody has access to Chinese designs and manufacturing plants, cost is being driven down and placing pressure on retail pricing for their products. But this isn’t the greatest threat; Greiper sees the anti-ecig regulations being put in place as having a negative rollover to the burgeoning cannabis industry too.

He added: “I think the existential threat or challenge to the [cannabis] vape market is what’s happening to the e-cig vape market, where the FDA earlier this year came in and said ‘we are going to regulate the manufacturing of vapes, insert quality controls in manufacturing and ISO standards.’ This crushed and put a chill throughout the e-cig market, because they were operating with no standards and no regulation.”

So, the combination of competitive factors, pressure in pricing and margins, and the ultimate oversight by the FDA has us concerned about that sector of the market,” Greiper concluded.

It is utterly bizarre that, over the course of next year, it will be easier and more socially acceptable for someone to buy a marijuana ecig than for a smoker to purchase and use a vape kit to help them quit.