Closer Look, Flavored Vape Ban

So it happened, flavored vape carts are gone. We can all pour a little e-cig juice out in remembrance for what we once had…

I mean, I think pouring out e-cig juice into the trash is probably the best thing you can do with that stuff in the first place, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Back to marijuana vape carts… Our state has drafted legislation on the banning of flavored cartridges. What defines a flavored vape cart you may ask?

Our state Board of Health and Liquor and Cannabis board is in the process of figuring that out. They are trying to lock down what it means to define the word flavor.

According to WAC 246-80-010 they isolate the two words “characterizing flavor” and try to define what that means.”Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y), or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law, imparted by a vapor product. Characterizing flavors include, but are not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb, or spice. A vapor product does not have a characterizing flavor solely because of the use of additives or flavorings or the provision of ingredient information. It is the presence of a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, that constitutes a characterizing flavor.

So again we have this definition that I literally copy and pasted from the LCB website, but what does that actually translate to when considering product on our wall? Let us dive deeper.

On Thursday, October 10, it was my coworker’s and my task to take all the flavored vape carts and store them in quarantine, because ya know Governor’s orders.

So were sitting here taking down all our fruity and minty and basically any non-marijuana strain named cartridges out of our inventory. I cant help but notice that it just so happens all of the vape carts that we are ordered to take down are distillate vape carts. Excuse me, flavored distillate vape carts.

I would say that a large majority of the vape cart company’s in the i-502 market happen to be using the distillate extraction method. Many distillate cartridges claim to be strain specific when they are sourcing their terpenes from the same natural terpene vendors that the flavored distillate company’s were.

These distillate vape cart company’s use mixes of different natural terpenes to produce a similar taste and smell as a specific cannabis strain would. WITHOUT BEING CANNABIS DERIVED. We are allowed to continue selling these “strain specific” distillate vape carts despite them being made the exact same way and sourced the exact same way as flavored distillates. Which to me seems like some bullshit.

Lets look at this definition one more time… “Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana.

To me, it seems like a ruling to allow a strain specific distillate vape cart that is derived in the exact same process in which our now banned flavored distillate vape carts is a complete oxymoron ruling from our governor.

I guess we’ll just chalk this ruling up to that’s what you get when the entity’s who regulate an industry don’t know nearly as much about it as the people who have to follow the rules.

Here’s one more look at a little graph I pulled off the LCB’s FAQ page:

Not-Allowed and Allowed Under Emergency Rule
Per the State Board of Health’s emergency rule amending 246-60 WAC and the definition of “characterizing flavor” contained therein:

Not AllowedAllowed
Synthetic terpenes and terpenoids or other synthetic flavoring compoundsTerpenes and terpenoid derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y) , or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law
Botanically-derived terpenes, terpenoids or other botanically-derived flavoring compounds, except if directly derived and solely from marijuana plants tagged within the I-502 system or hemp plants 
Any other compounds that impart a “characterizing flavor” that is not specifically excluded   

So once again naturally derived terpenes that are found in our strain specific distillate vape carts are allowed to be sold but our almost identically made flavored distillate vape carts are banned.

If you want my real pro-tip, do yourself a favor and don’t buy distillate vape carts, they’re all garbage disguised as recycling.

WA Marijuana News on the Associated Press

The last couple days an article has been floating around various news stations courtesy of the associated press. The headline reads: 5 years In, Washington Considers Overhaul of Pot Regulation.

In the article they detail certain changes that the Liquor and Cannabis Board have been mulling over.

Potential changes that were touched on included spreading out the regulation of marijuana businesses to other state departments and re-thinking the state’s seed-to-sale tracking program. In my opinion, having the Department of Ecology overseeing the certification of marijuana testing labs would tighten up a lot of the slack and misinformation that slips through the industry from time to time.

I’ve chatted it up with a few different lab technicians about the legitimacy of THC percentages on labels and how they might not be as truthful as the average consumer may believe. One of the guys I chatted with who shall remain nameless put it like this.

He said, “Company’s know that the consumer demand is calling for high THC percentages, they are going to do whatever they can to get the highest THC percentages documented on their labels. A lab technician might be able to falsify a THC percentage by altering the formula used to test the product, i.e. use 8ml of solvent instead of 10ml to get a more concentrated test result.”

Right now, the Liquor and Cannabis Board would have to get a significant complaint in order to investigate the malpractice of any specific testing facility. This has happened in the past and testing facilities have ceased to exist. I think that if the Department of Ecology was tasked with certifying and enforcing these testing facilities there may be less issues with funny numbers on our labels.

I’ve said it before and ill say it again, the biggest misconception of the i-502 industry is that the higher the THC on the label the better the product. Oh and one more… that 32% THC on that eighth you’re buying is probably lying to you.

Enough rambling… back to the Associated Press article… They outlined two very progressive proposed bills for the next session of legislature.

One bill would encourage greater ownership of marijuana businesses by minority, women, or veteran citizens and would offer grants and other technical assistance to businesses that qualify.

Another proposal would allow tier-1 producers to sell directly to medical patients either on-site, by delivery, or through a farmers market style as long as it met the regulations set in place.