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The Coming Vape Wars: What’s at Stake?

The cannabis market is seeing an uptick in interest from tech firms that are looking to harness the growth spurred by cannabis legalization. They have vape pens in their sights and see technological improvements in this popular delivery system as the next big story in cannabis news. The most cutting edge vape technology is currently held by Big Tobacco firms, and the promise of this IP advantage has a number of cannabis companies joining into surprising partnerships and collaborations with some of the most recognizable Big Tobacco firms.

Canada’s legalization scheme has new product lines that will become part of the legal industry shortly before the end of 2019. In addition to pens, edibles, beverages, and extracts will be among the newly legal products. Due to the current popularity of the use of vape pen use in the tobacco sector, many industry analysts are watching how their legalization for cannabis use impacts the overall market. There is no denying that vape technology is a huge part of success in the vape wars, and it will be interesting to note how these tech factors affect the overall industry.

It is interesting to note that the popular Canadian company Auxly Cannabis Group Inc has joined forces with Imperial Brands, the tobacco giant headquartered in the U.K. Imperial is looking to enter the cannabis market, and Auxly will, in turn, benefit from their IP in the vape market as well as the firm’s significant research and development resources.

This new partnership “accelerates Auxly’s plan to go heavily into the recreational market,” explains Auxly CEO Chuck Rifici. “Particularly, the vape category, which we think will be very large.”

Many analysts believe that vape technology will continue to improve, and some even think that vaping will become the preferred delivery system for recreational cannabis users. It is with this in mind that many companies are watching the Canadian market to see how the legalization of vape pens for cannabis use affects sales and market growth.

These pens allow cannabis ingestion without smoke, and they come pre-filled with cartridges containing cannabis extract. The pens are easy to use and discrete, which has many experts thinking that they will dominate the cannabis consumer market upon legalization.

Because of the popularity of vaping among (former) tobacco users, there has been a push in the development of improved vape technology by the major tobacco players. This technological investment, that can be translated to cannabis use quite easily, has many tobacco and cannabis companies joining forces. The investments run into billions of dollars for this vape technology, and due to the size of the investments, it only makes sense for tobacco companies to look for other potential markets that can help to offset these research and development costs. It also makes sense for cannabis companies to look for technology that has already been developed rather than start from the ground up creating their own.

As the legal use of cannabis grows, the industry becomes a lot more like most other corporate endeavors

With the ouster of Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton after their new partner, Constellation Brands expressed concerns about earnings, it is clear that the large cannabis companies will likely become even more earnings and profit-driven. This cannabis news is just one story of how the cannabis industry is becoming more mainstream and attracting more typical investors who are less concerned about their customers’ cannabis experience and are more focused on making money.

Of course, the industry is still in its nascent stages and such shakeups receive a lot of attention. There are few benchmarks available to measure profits against, and it is unknown exactly where the valuations of public cannabis companies will settle. Because of these realities, there remains a lot of speculation about the industry overall, and the impact of vape pen legalization specifically. There was similar hype when some cannabis companies announced partnerships with beverage companies, with many analysts declaring that market segment the next big thing in cannabis news. It remains to be seen exactly how the industry will grow and evolve, but the unfolding has been fascinating to this point.

The best news is that these partnerships and technology initiatives will create more products for consumers, giving them a greater amount of choice than they have now, which is ultimately a good thing. Regardless of the direction that the market takes, it is clear that as each new group of product types is legalized, the consumers are the winners.

Analysts are challenged to focus on the current state of the industry rather than trying to predict how it will grow and change in the near to long-term. It will be interesting to see how the push for cannabis vape technology affects the industry as a whole, and which players end up on top. For now, there seems to be a lot of inter-industry collaboration that may not have been expected even as early as the start of the year.

Canada has proved to be a bellwether of sorts when it comes to the American cannabis market, and all eyes are on these new moves between established cannabis companies and behemoth tobacco companies. Will the vape pen craze go the way that the short-lived foray into THC-infused beverages has? No matter the outcome in the cannabis market, there’s no denying that vape pens have all but taken over the tobacco industry. It only makes sense that consumers looking for the least damaging delivery method, no matter the substance, begin to take a closer look at vaping.

Canada is rolling out product legalization in stages, and this approach has worked quite well. It is allowing the industry to take baby steps and determine what works and what doesn’t without being inundated with all manner of products. However, this approach has also led to some analysts feeling like certain market segments are taking two steps forward and one step back. Unlike consumer goods such as food and beverages, it does not appear as though the growing vape market will falter.

Getting in on the technological aspect of vaping is proving useful for a number of cannabis companies, and from the outside, it is a strategy that surely makes sense. The one aspect of these recent partnerships between the big players in cannabis and tobacco is the potential for the tobacco industry players to negatively affect the new cannabis industry. There have already been reports of Canadian growing companies trying to circumvent Canadian laws. If the tobacco partnerships become driven by the more established companies, we can expect to see further short cuts taken in the name of profits.

Keeping the cannabis industry “honest” as it grows larger and larger may prove to be one of the greatest challenges that the industry ends up facing. And although it may be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to develop their own vape technology, it may be worth it, in the long run, to forego the potentially damaging partnerships with Big Tobacco. Watch this space to learn all of the new developments that occur within the cannabis industry and how the vape wars turn out. Hopefully, cannabis won’t turn into yet another product that is exploited by Corporate America for the sole purpose of monetary gain.

The post The Coming Vape Wars: What’s at Stake? appeared first on Marijuana Experts.

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