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Industry Report Shows Massive Growth In Concentrates Market, Despite Safety Concerns

A 2021 report on the U.S. market for cannabis concentrates by Colorado-based agency Grasslands makes it clear that consumers are choosing concentrate-based products over dried flower, and in huge volumes, but there are safety concerns that remain to be addressed.

Let’s be clear: in 2019, combined, vapes and extracts had a greater share of the market than dried flower, but according to the report, newfound demand is being fuelled by things like consumer education and the pandemic. Sales for concentrates grew more than 40 percent in 2020, a trend that is thought to be driven by social distancing and stay-at-home orders. 

According to TechCrunch, vaporizer companies have seen record sales too. Vape pens and concentrate cartridges haven’t been affected by the e-cigarette vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) problem, reporting sales across five states of more than $160 million in July 2020 alone. More companies have been launching their own proprietary vape systems to counter grey market knock-offs. 

Novel concentrates like live resin are “set to take off” in 2021, with an increase in companies offering niche products like live resin vape cartridges. While concentrates like shatter and wax will always have a place in the market, demand for solventless concentrates is also thought to grow in 2021 among those who dab and vape. 

Despite Concentrates Market Growth, Safety Concerns Remain

With stay-at-home orders having an effect on how people consume their cannabis and consumers becoming more savvy about how products are made, the evolving market should continue to see an upward trend. But concerns about product safety, particularly with vaping devices, has led some to call for a set of minimum safety standards to be put in place. 

To answer questions about the consumer experience, the Blinc Group and Labstat and are joining forces to launch a survey that will help understand how and why consumers vape.

“When it comes to testing cannabis vape devices, there are no minimum standards in place. This creates potential risk for product makers, consumers, and regulatory agencies,” said Peter Joza, Chief Technical Officer of Labsat. “It is understandable that cannabis as an emerging industry has yet to establish standardization across the board, which is an important cornerstone for success.”

The survey will collect data from more than 2,000 medical and adult-use cannabis consumers in North America and be used to help inform quality standards and safety testing protocols. 

“As Chairman of the ISO Standards Board on Vaping, I am regularly contacted to advise on how markets can implement safer vaping protocols,” said Blinc Group chairman and founder Arnaud Dumas de Rauly. “Better understanding how consumers utilize vaping devices is the first step in drafting safety protocols that make sense for the users and the industry.”

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