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Will the Popularity of Cannabis Concentrates Make Vape Pens Replace the Joint?

New data out from leading cannabis industry research firm ArcView shows that, as many have safely predicted, retail sales of cannabis concentrates, raw flowers and cannabis-related products are higher than ever and on track to set new records for years to come.

ArcView forecasts that legal U.S. retail sales of marijuana in flower form will exceed $8.5 billion by the year 2020. Even more interesting, they predict the sales of cannabis concentrates will rise to match that number, also by 2020.

Humans have been enjoying the many benefits of the cannabis flower itself for over 5,000 years. Simple concentrates like hand-rolled hash have also been around for centuries at least.

But just in the past decade, as legalization efforts have taken root nationwide, the cannabis concentrate game has definitely changed.

With this long overdue cannabis reform, the face of the average cannabis user is changing as well.

Cannabis concentrates appeal to a wide variety of users, for a wide variety of reasons

Many seasoned smokers turn to wax, shatter, live resin, and other extracts for their increased strength, aroma, flavor, and effects.

Those new to cannabis appreciate the discrete nature of cannabis concentrates. They can now get the effects that they desire without the traditional hassles of lighters, ash, and tell-tale clinging odors.

The numbers from ArcView back this up.

ArcView Market Research ArcView Market Research

By the end of this year, cannabis concentrates will have raked in $2.9 billion in retail sales. This is a 49% jump from 2014 when the category made up just 10% of overall cannabis sales.

Of that nearly $3 billion in sales, 58% was from prefilled vaporizer pens. That is a stat that cannot be ignored.

It's only going higher...

Amazingly, that number will only rise as vape cartridges will engulf 80% of all cannabis concentrate sales by 2020. That is a whopping $6.5 billion market share.

As more states move to legalize the cannabis plant, either medicinally or recreationally, demand for cannabis will continue to skyrocket. Though these latest projections bode well for sales of the cannabis flower itself, the rapid rise in popularity of cannabis concentrates could create a problem on the supply side of the curve.

PuffCo Plus PuffCo Plus

This creates another selling point for concentrates, particularly for vape pens. From edibles to topical medications, to the goo inside a prefilled vaporizer cartridge, a common ingredient is cannabis oil distillate.

This short path distillation process used to extract THC from the cannabis plant is very forgiving when it comes to the quality of the plant material being used. Due to this, midgrade flowers that might not sell on a dispensary shelf can be processed into safe, clean distillate.

Many legal markets are struggling under the weight of heavy taxes, regulatory costs, and competition from a thriving black market. The profit margins that cannabis concentrates can provide by way of savings throughout the production chain will be a welcome relief for the pioneering companies trying to survive these first few crucial years of legalization.

The traditional grassroots cannabis culture is on a collision course with the corporate vision of this profitable plant.

Is the prefilled vape cart the new cannabis joint?

The experts say it will be by 2020, but for a growing number of cannabis connoisseurs, it’s all they’ve ever known.

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