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Vape Shops Offer Devices to Medical Marijuana Users, But Are They Selling Out?

Electronic cigarettes are still highly controversial in the United States. People either love them or hate them, but it’s almost always a hot button issue when you bring it up in a crowd. Now vaping is causing even more controversy thanks to ecig store owners that are catering to marijuana users. While no one can blame vape shops for trying to make a profit, they might be selling out by resorting to cannabis driven business to line their pockets. After all, won’t this just give lawmakers one more reason to crack down on vaping?

According to a report from Reuters, vaping cannabis is a growing trend, especially among medical marijuana patients. In Connecticut, vape shop owners Matt and Jen Osmun said they never intended to sell vaping devices to medical marijuana patients, but that’s just what naturally happened when dispensaries started sending them referrals. Now profits are up and the Osmuns don’t seem to mind the new boost in business, even if it comes from catering to pot users. “Sells are going really well, and getting better every month,” Jen said.

Medical marijuana is a multibillion-dollar industry. In fact, experts predict that by 2020 medical pot sales will hit $13.4 billion. If all 50 states legalize, sales could hit $35 billion. So far, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and 15 additional states legalized certain strains for treating severe seizure disorders. Recreational use is now legal in four states, but many more are considering making a change.

Patients who use medical cannabis prefer vaping because it offers a loophole. Some states mandate that patients cannot smoke marijuana, but since vaping isn’t technically smoking, it offers a perfect solution. As a result, ecigs are being used for a slightly shady purpose and even if you support medical marijuana, you have to consider the consequences for the ecig industry as a whole.

Cannabis advocates love the idea of vaporizers and don’t give any thought to how it might impact the ecig industry. “Vaporized cannabis is a really significant trend in both medical and adult use,” said Christie Lunsford, a cannabis consultant in Colorado. “It’s consistent, it’s almost instantaneous, and it’s appropriate for a wide variety of consumers.”

At first glance, medical marijuana might seem like a great opportunity for the vaping market, but when you think about legal issues, things can get murky. If lawmakers are already trying to ban vaping in public places when nicotine is the only threat, won’t they crack down more if vaping devices are viewed as marijuana paraphernalia? Are vape shops selling out by offering devices for use with cannabis?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017


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