“E-Joints,” A Thing of the Future?
E-cigarette and vaping products are among the most rapidly growing products trending in the market today. However, another fast growing trend in our society is the legalization of marijuana, and it appears the two worlds may intersect in the near future.
Oklahoma-based e-cigarette company, Palm Beach Vapors, recently filed a patent for their “M-System” device, a product they expect to account for 30-40 percent of its annual revenue by 2018 if the country continues to move toward wider legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana. This product would allow the user to inhale cannabis oil vapors, much like users experience with e-cigarettes now.
It is no secret that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. However, Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved ballot measures this year to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, joining Washington state and Colorado who have lead the way in recreational legalization. In more than a dozen other states medical marijuana is legal.
While the use is still illegal in many states and under federal law, the market for cannabis products is projected to continue growing as more states legalize it. According to Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana advocates are working on legalization initiatives on 2016 ballots in California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
The growing legalization trend allows companies, even ones that aren’t in the states where marijuana is legalized, to take part in a booming industry. CEO and founder of Palm Beach Vapors, Chip Paul believes marijuana oil e-cigarettes are part of the future of the vaping industry, “This is a wave that's kind of sweeping the nation.” His company, who patented the M-System, has already signed licensing deals in California and in Colorado. Paul said he intends to set up franchise locations in many other states as well.
The cannabis oil e-cigarettes would work similarly to the traditional e-cigarette by heating liquid cannabis extract into an inhalable mist. It should be noted that Palm Beach Vapors does not buy or sell marijuana products or oils but licenses only the preparation method and the additives used to ensure the cannabis oils are evenly distributed. Paul says this method is key to properly measuring and labeling the concentration of THC, similar to the way e-cigarettes measure the amount of nicotine they contain.
With the medical benefits that marijuana offers, it seems natural to help people obtain their medicine with a healthier method. An “e-joint” vapor is obviously far less harmful than the combustible method of inhaling marijuana smoke. Marijuana is used to treat a variety of health conditions, from chronic pain, asthma, and glaucoma, to helping to alleviate nausea and vomiting for cancer and AIDS patients. Allowing doctors and patients a healthier alternative for delivering this medicine seems like a good idea; however there are others that are concerned about the potential dangers associated with marijuana e-cigarettes.
Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, says their agency is concerned about the possibilities that accompany cannabis oils e-cigarettes. Woodward voiced his concern for teens who are able to obtain e-cigarettes and cannabis oils. He believes an e-cigarette device for marijuana is “an easier way for people, especially our youth, to disguise their marijuana use.” Much like with a traditional e-cigarette, the user would not inhale smoke, only vapor, thus eliminating most of the hallmark signs of marijuana usage, like the strong smell and heavy smoke.
Woodward went on to report that investigators for his agency have already discovered people traveling across Oklahoma, where Palm Beach Vapors is located, with cannabis oil products they have purchased legally in one state with plans to sell it elsewhere. “It can be hard to detect,” Woodward said.
Despite the potential issues, vaporizing marijuana e-cigarettes are likely an inevitability. No matter how you feel about the legalization and use of marijuana, the truth is using a vaporizing method to replace anything you smoke is hands down healthier for the user. It’s likely that Palm Beach Vapors is just the first of many companies to jump on this bandwagon, though only time will tell.