With Cannabis legalization now a reality across Canada, those immersed deeply in the burgeoning industry are predicting that many who are interested in consuming marijuana will turn to vaporization devices.
For the uninitiated, cannabis vaporizers typically feature a chamber that heats dried leaf marijuana to a temperature hot enough to turn the plant into a vapour rather than smoke. Cannabis vaporizers are often viewed as a relatively healthy and discrete way of consuming cannabis when compared to more traditional methods like smoking a joint, with the combustion devices growing in popularity over the last few years.
There are countless vaporizer brands out there already though most devices targeting a specific demographic — the cannabis enthusiast. For instance, PAX, the company behind the PAX line of vaporizers, positions itself as the Apple of the loose-leaf cannabis vaporizer market, offering consumers a premium-feeling product with an expensive price tag.
A quick Google search reveals other vaporizers from various manufacturers, including the Arizer Air II, another Canadian-made cannabis combustion vaporizer from Waterloo-based company Arizer, the Davinci IQ, the Firefly and the Crafty, just to name a few of the industry’s more well-known brands.
With the marijuana vaporizer market already being crowded, it’s difficult for an upstart manufacturer to make a name for itself in the cannabis industry, especially given that the product category has hit a level of maturity that makes innovation difficult. In fact, the vaporizer industry’s current position is not that dissimilar from the high-end smartphone market.
That’s why Toronto-based Vapium is going after a different audience now that cannabis legalization has hit Canada.
The company aims to attract consumers that aren’t familiar with marijuana rather than knowledgeable cannabis users, a type of customer the company’s CEO/CTO and co-founder Michael Trzecieski refers to as the ‘cannacurious.’
The Vapium Lite, the company’s most recently released product, includes a few unique features beyond its comparably affordable $99 price tag that helps it stand out in the crowded industry. The vaporizer features a clear temperature indicator, an easy to clean chamber and a built-in pick tool.
MobileSyrup recently sat down with Trzecieski to discuss the company’s recently launched Vapium Lite, cannabis legalization and the future of marijuana in the Canadian market.
Question: Can you give me a little bit of background about Vapium as a company?
Trzecieski: Vapium was established in 2013, pivoting from design engineering and manufacturing robotics into vaporization technology. This was and continues to be an unregulated industry, so we approached and built a methodology of manufacturing similar to the toy industry with stringent guidelines and multiple stage testing.
We have built three distinct brands and are sold in 20 countries. Vapium Inc. is the holding company of Vapium, Vapium Medical and HYER. In 2018, we launched vapiumMedical, our research division with offices at JLABS Toronto.
Q: What do you think separates the Vapium Lite from well-known vaporizers like the Pax 3? Is there specific tech going on behind the scenes that the average consumer might not be aware of?
Trzecieski: Vapium Lite is the first of its kind. Lite is medically manufactured under ISO13485 at our integrated medical manufacturing facility. We built and invested in our own factory so that we control the complete supply chain from sourcing materials, engineering, manufacturing and sales. The Lite has a simple UX — its very easy and intuitive to use, eliminating the guesswork.
We designed three buttons and a laser marked temperature display so that the user is able to choose their own temperature experience.
We engineered the Lite to hit a price point of $99 CAD — about 1/3rd the retail price of the leading brand. Its heating chamber has a capacity of 0.33g for ground flower, heats up in approximately 45 seconds and has haptic feedback.
Most notable is the inclusion of a clean air manifold with a removable crumb drawer ensuring that clean air enters the heating chamber
Q: On that same topic, what does the Lite offer in comparison to the Summit?
Trzecieski: Our flagship product the Summit was designed in 2013 with iterations of the Summit+ in 2016. The Lite employs advanced technology in the heating chamber. We designed a ceramic heater vs Summit with stainless steel and capton.
The Lite features faster heating.
We incorporated years of customer feedback, utilizing the essential components and features of the Summit and hence built the Lite. Everyone loves our embedded pick tool, temperature display LEDs and the simple three-button UX and haptic feedback.
Q: If someone has never used a cannabis flower vaporizer before, how would you explain what the process of using the Vapium Lite?
Trzecieski: The Lite makes it easy. Start by grinding your flower, remove the mouthpiece, pack the heating chamber in the same way you would pack an espresso or a cup of flour, then snap the mouthpiece back onto the device.
Press and hold the Go Button for three seconds and your unit will vibrate, illuminating the battery level, choose your temperature and the Lite will begin heating. Vapor will be ready to enjoy in approximately 45 seconds. A long and sustained inhalation is recommended.
Q: What type of cannabis consumer is the Vapium Lite aimed at?
Trzecieski: The Lite was built for the cannacurious, the wellness tribe (“I once smoked joints and wants a healthier option to try) and anyone who loves the flower. With the onset of legalization, we want to offer a product that introduces a customer to our brands without a constraining investment. We look beyond the demographic and think about mindset.
We medically manufacture all of our products and aim to be the Canadian brand of choice. This may be your first Vapium product, but not your last. This is an investment in your lungs. We want customers to choose wisely.
Q: Further, where can Canadians expect to purchase the Vapium Lite.
Trzecieski: The Lite is available for purchase at selected retailers in and around Toronto as well as at vapium.com.
To mark October 17th, we will be hosting education sessions on vaporization and use of our products @489 King St East — come say hi!
Q: Where do you see the future of vaporizers headed once legalization hits in Canada?
Trzecieski: We believe that the future of vaporization will be in data, dosing and extraction methodology.
With our research at JLABS Toronto we have developed an ecosystem with research institutions to develop a calibrated system for dose control so that patients can rely less on titration and utilize data with their circle of care for the proper treatment protocol.
Q: If extracts were to become legal in the Canadian market at some point in the future, is this an area Vapium would be interested in expanding into?
Trzecieski: We have developed hardware for concentrate consumption and are developing devices for dose control so that end consumers are able to consume standardized doses of extracted medicine.