The segment of the 2.0 market that probably has the largest room to grow is also arguably the least understood of the drinkables, edibles and new vape products designed for cannabis consumption. Vaping is inhaling and exhaling aerosol—the vapors—from an electronic platform that doesn’t need flame to combust. A mix of oil formulations and cannabis-derived terpenes, these products, as they relate to cannabis, have been lumped in with the American health concerns over illegal vaping—a health crisis that stems from black market products that use Vitamin E acetate to thicken the oils. It’s these black market products that have made people ill and, in some cases, even caused death.
These are not the products being sold in legal Ontario dispensaries. No one has gotten ill from the products that are legally being sold as part of cannabis 2.0.
“Educating consumers should be the number one focus—what to look out for and directing them to purchase from licensed, legal dispensaries that carry vape pens manufactured by reputable companies like Greentank,” says Dustin Koffler, Greentank’s founder and CEO. “Our partners only use the full spectrum of the cannabis to formulate their extracts—nothing more. The vape scare is an issue you simply don’t get from licensed producers. And for us, that’s all we work with.”
Amy Redekop, founder of RedeCan Pharm, a 30-year-old, family-owned agricultural company in the Niagara Peninsula that has been in legal cannabis since 2014, agrees with Koffler’s summation of the current environment.
“The scare comes from the States, and there’s a misconception that people in the US are vaping and getting sick and that the problem lies with the vapes, but that’s 100% wrong—the problem lies with the source of the product, not the product itself,” said Redekop. “Our extraction process and concentration methods are entirely inspected and approved by Health Canada, which has the strictest vaping regulations of any regulatory body in the world. It’s only in markets where the products are unregulated that the issues have occurred.”
I recently traveled to Los Angeles and met with dosist CEO Gunner Winston, and we smoked some of his vape pens before conducting an interview. dosist, based in Venice Beach, was introduced to Ontario's dispensaries last month. They make single-dosed vape pens with names that describe how they make you feel: bliss, arouse, calm and so on. According to Winston, the vaping crisis was disconcerting: nobody wants to see anyone become ill, especially from a product you’ve invested your life in building smartly and safely. But Winston’s fear quickly turned to outrage as his assumptions played out: that no one using his products or other similarly licensed products would be facing health concerns and that the only sickness from vapes would be found in the illegal market—a market where his vapes aren’t sold.
“In a way, the entire vaping health scare confirmed what we knew since day one—that if you want to operate in the legal cannabis market, you need to comply with regulators, or even over-comply,” says Winston, who earned his fortune on Wall Street before moving out west to become the dosist CEO. “It’s sad, scary stuff, but people are treating all vaporization products as equal—e-cigarettes, nicotine, cannabis—and that’s just not the case. Vaping comes down to consumer trust.”
No one has gotten ill from the products that are legally being sold as part of cannabis 2.0.
In the end, consumer trust is behind the entire cannabis legalization endeavour. You know when you’re buying your cannabis from a legal dispensary that it’s free from mildew and pesticides; when you’re buying an edible, that it’s labelled correctly and consistently in terms of dosage; and when you’re buying a vape, that it’s been rigorously tested both by Health Canada and the vape manufacturer, like Greentank Technologies.
“Safety is the most important thing to us. And the best way to deliver on that is transparency—we only work inside the legal market and we think all consumers should know what they’re buying,” says Dustin Koffler. “Our mission is to constantly seek the best and go beyond. That means ensuring we have the best vape hardware in the market and the most innovative vaping experience there is—one that delivers full terpene profiles and unmatched flavour expressions for our partners. But it’s also about something bigger than us. We’re dedicated to pushing the industry forward and further than it's ever gone before. And you cannot cut corners to get there, especially when it comes to safety.”
For more information on Canadian Vape manufacturer Greentank, you can visit them at greentanktech.com.