Marijuana Business Magazine February 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2020 8 Cannabis bythe Numbers | Maggie Cowee State and Consumer Responses to the Vape Crisis T he cannabis industry was taken by surprise during summer 2019 by the sudden and widespread emergence of lung injuries associated with vaping products. While the first reported case of vaping-related lung injury occurred in late March, cases increased rapidly between mid-June and the first reported death in late August. By the end of the year, more than 2,600 hospitalizations and 60 deaths had been attributed to vaping-related illness. Sales of vape products initially were impacted, seeing their first downward trend in market share since vapes started gaining popularity in the past several years. Some states responded by enacting a ban on the sale of vape products. But sales have begun to rebound in some states that did not enact a ban. And even in states that did enact bans, not all consumers have taken heed: Marijuana Business Daily reported that retailers in Maine saw spikes in vaporizer sales after neighboring Massachusetts implemented a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products. Number of states with legal marijuana that responded to the crisis by proposing or instituting a ban on the sale of THC vaping products. Ten states responded by changing their rules or regulations regarding THC vaping products. 19% California 11% Nevada 43% Washington state $1.4 billion Total vapor pen category sales from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2019, in recreational markets in California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington state, equating to more than 40 million units sold. The number of vape-related hospitalizations in the United States (including all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of Jan. 14, 2020. A total of 60 vape-related deaths were confirmed by the CDC as of the same date. Percentage decrease of the vape category’s recreational market share in three states between July 2019 (before the first vape-related death was announced) and Dec. 31. Vape market share in California has begun to rebound after hitting a low of 24% in November. The sector’s market share in Nevada bottomed out in October 2019 at 16.5% and has been trending upward since—demonstrating that not all markets and consumers respond to crises the same way. Vape market share in Washington state has trended steadily downward, impacted in part by the state’s four-month ban on flavored THC vape products. Source: Headset, Marijuana Business Daily Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Source: Khurshid Khoja, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel; Kaitlyn Dent, Emerge Law Group; Marijuana Business Daily Source: Headset 2,668