The vaping industry never stops evolving – and with the regulatory changes that have taken place over the past couple of years, there are plenty of people who would say that it’s recently evolved for the worse. If you’re a vape shop owner, you’ve almost certainly tried to remain abreast of the regulatory changes and the ongoing PMTA process. When you try to determine how the changes will affect your vape shop and how you can best move forward, though, you might feel tempted to bury your head in the sand and simply continue doing business as you always have.
SURVIVING AND THRIVING
If you want to give your vape shop the best possible chance of surviving and thriving in 2022, though, trying to continue doing business as you did before the age of flavor bans, mail bans, the PACT Act and the FDA’s stream of marketing denial orders is entirely the wrong idea. You need a plan that allows you to continue serving your existing customers in the nicotine vaping community while branching out and expanding your selection to include a wider variety of products that – for now, at least – stand on firmer legal ground.
These are the four types of products that your vape shop needs to stock in 2022.
POD VAPING SYSTEMS AND REPLACEMENT PODS
Pod-based vaping devices evolved rapidly in 2021, and that segment of the market really came of age. The pod revolution may have begun with pre-filled devices like JUUL, but the pod vaping segment has grown up so quickly since then that those early pre-filled pod systems have become almost irrelevant. The latest innovation in the world of pod systems is the pod mod, which is a new type of device combining the convenience and sleek designs of pod systems with the advanced features of traditional vape mods.
If you haven’t hooked up with a good supplier of wholesale vape pods, now is the time to do so because people in the vaping community have been trading their box mods for pod mods since 2021, and the trend isn’t likely to change any time soon because that’s where the vaping industry’s manufacturers are investing all of their research and development capital. Today’s pod mods are much smaller and lighter than box mods while offering comparable vapor production and flavor quality. They’re what everyone wants, and you need to be ready to meet the demand.
LEGAL HEMP PRODUCTS
If you’re in the vaping industry, there is almost no chance that you haven’t heard of CBD because it’s a natural fit for vape shops. People who have switched from smoking to vaping are naturally inclined to take an interest in alternative health products. After all, you could think of vaping itself as an alternative health movement. That’s probably why vape shop owners consistently report good results when they add CBD products to their stores. If you haven’t already added legal hemp products to your vape shop, it’s time for you to embrace them in a big way.
MUCH MORE THAN CBD OILS
One of the most important things to know about CBD is that people are very particular about how they want to use it. In the not-too-distant past, oral CBD oil was the only product that most people used. Today, though, you can find topical products like CBD lotions and rollers, oral products like CBD capsules and gummies, smokable products like CBD cigarettes and buds – and that’s just the beginning. If you want to embrace CBD, you should do it in a big way by stocking a wide variety of products and carrying the things that your competitors don’t have.
Remember that the world of legal hemp products doesn’t begin and end with CBD. Delta-8 THC is another legal cannabinoid that’s become extremely popular of late. It produces a much more overt and uplifting sensation compared to CBD – and for now, it isn’t regulated at the federal level. As long as Delta-8 remains legal, it’s likely that demand for it will only increase.
DRY HERB AND WAX VAPORIZERS
When people think about dry herb and wax vaporizers, they mostly think of them as products for vaporizing cannabis. That’s certainly true, and your vape shop can do well marketing to that crowd – especially if you don’t have any other vape shops or dispensaries in your area that offer vaporizers. As a vape shop owner, though, you’re in a unique position in that your core product provides an option for nicotine users who want to transition away from combustible tobacco products.
The regulatory climate for flavored e-liquid in the United States isn’t looking good. The independent vaping industry has fared extremely poorly in the PMTA process, and not a single bottled e-liquid has gained FDA approval to date. The only vaping products that have received approval are a small handful of mainstream closed systems. Those products are available in convenience stores and gas stations, so you can’t hope to make a living selling them.
THE FDA AND ITS FIGHT AGAINST VAPING
There’s something, though, that you might not have considered: There are probably many thousands of vapers in the United States who won’t switch to mainstream pod systems if their favorite e-liquids go away. Instead, they’ll either return to smoking or look for other alternative nicotine products. We’ll discuss alternative nicotine products in greater detail shortly, but you should also consider the potential that dry herb vaporizers could have in helping people avoid reverting to smoking as the FDA continues to ban flavored e-liquids. A dry herb vaporizer isn’t just for cannabis. It’ll also work perfectly well with tobacco, and vaporizing tobacco is certainly better than smoking it.
ALTERNATIVE NICOTINE PRODUCTS
Flavored nicotine pouches and lozenges have been extremely popular of late – and for now, at least, this is another product category that the FDA has largely ignored. Many vapers are already experimenting with these products and are using them in places where they aren’t allowed to vape. Many of those people will probably start using nicotine pouches or lozenges on a full-time basis if their favorite e-liquids go away, so it’s a good idea for you to start stocking alternative nicotine products in your vape shop now. When the vapers in your city start looking for alternatives to their favorite e-liquids, they’ll know where to find them.