Mail Ban: How This Crisis Will Effect the Cannabis Vaping Industry
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For those who struggle day-to-day with constant pain from chronic medical conditions, a vape pen can be the perfect way to discreetly provide instant relief with less lung inflammation than traditional flame-to-flower combustion. Vaping heats cannabis, rather than burning it, so there is no combustion and no smoke, which makes it the preferred method for a lot of users.
Unfortunately, the cannabis vaping industry is facing a crisis that could make it difficult for patients to receive their medicine.
Mail Ban Categorizes Vaporizing Devices as Nicotine Product
Concealed in last December’s federal bill, a new law banned the USPS delivery of vape products. This caused reputable cannabis vaporizer companies to struggle delivering products to their customers. Due to the broad wording of the law, this generalizes any vaporizing device as a nicotine product, which will consequently cause shippers to maneuver through a strenuous list of mandatory requirements.
The Preventing Online Sales Of E-Cigarettes to Children Act calls for vape companies to follow the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act. PACT contains a list of strict rules and regulations that vape manufactures must follow. These include:
- Registering with the U.S. Attorney General
- Confirming the age of customers
- If shipping to a state that taxes cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, businesses are required to apply to the federal government and the tobacco tax administrators of the states.
- Keep thorough documentation of all names and addresses that the product was sold, as well as the quantities sold.
- Keep a record for five years of all of the times a delivery was interrupted due to the buyer of the delivery violating the PACT Act.
The strict language of the PACT act includes serious repercussions if a regulation isn’t followed, including prison time. This will cause a domino effect of hardship for vaporizer companies. Hundreds of vaporizer businesses could close, and dwindling direct-to-consumer sales will force consumers to seek other means to obtain their medicine.
Consumers Will Flock to the Black Market
Dana E. Shoched, the president and CEO of the woman and veteran-owned vaporizer company 02VAPE, said that the stimulus package law change misrepresents their vape customers as nicotine addicts and their technology as tobacco driven, which effectively destroys their ability to serve them with safe and responsibly-produced equipment.
“The ‘stimulus’ in this case actually puts people’s livelihoods at risk and businesses like mine in an even greater struggle than the pandemic caused. And additionally, it will force consumers into a dangerous black market that should not exist,” said Shoched.
Shoched is right that the black market shouldn’t exist. Patients shouldn’t have to risk their wellbeing with less than quality products in order to get their medicine. However, strict regulations like this contribute to the black market’s survival.
For example, the Cannabis Advisory Committee warned California legislatures in their 2019 draft annual report that high taxes, regulations, and local bans cause illegal sales to be three times higher than legal sales in their state.
Not All Vapes Are Trustworthy
Today, innovative technology and design are constantly evolving to create a safer, more efficient vape. The most prominent risk in the illegal vape market is contaminated vape cartridges that have problematic cutting agents or pesticides that can cause health problems when inhaled.
For example, according to an NBC News article, a 26-year-old Wisconsin man was put into a medically induced coma after smoking from a new vape cartridge that he bought off the street. These are the risks people face when unable to purchase from a reputable vape store.
Companies like 02VAPE are constantly pushing the envelope to create unique, portable cannabis vaporizers, and rigorously perform certified testing for heavy metals on all of their cartridges.
Shoched stresses that they have worked hard to get where they are by always putting the safety of their customers first.
“The thing I’m most concerned about is this law will choke the supply chain of equipment that many of my fellow veterans and other medicinal cannabis patients around the country use to take their medication,” said Shoched.