A simple, inexpensive piece of tech is upending the burgeoning marijuana industry

Behold: The small, cheap device that's disrupting the $7 billion
legal cannabis business.


Cannabis vape cartridgeBen Gilbert/Business Insider

This tiny combination of plastic, glass, and metal is a
disposable cannabis oil cartridge. It costs anywhere from
$30 to $70 (depending on the oil inside), is easily carried in
your pocket, and produces little-to-no smell when consumed. You
simply screw it into an inexpensive, rechargeable pen and inhale.
That's it.

It's this tiny device that's quickly taking over cannabis
consumption in America's largest cannabis market: California.
Nearly a quarter of sales from 2016, tracked by marijuana delivery service Eaze, were
for cartridges:


Eaze data on cannabis vaping
This
data comes from Eaze, a marijuana delivery service that operates
all over California.

Eaze

Similar growth rates are showing up outside of California as
well.

States like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon — where cannabis is
legal — are showing massive percentage growth for "concentrates"
(cannabis oil), according to BDS Analytics.


Cannabis oil growth chart
These are growth rates for 2016.
BDS Analytics

Notably, this seems to be a growth trend connected to
convenience. 

As "flower" (traditional marijuana buds) is messy, complicated,
and requires preparation to be smoked, it's no surprise that
easier forms of marijuana product are growing so quickly.


marijuana
Learning how to roll a
joint is a hassle, as is "breaking up" (crumbling)
cannabis.

Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy
Alliance


Though cannabis oil ("concentrates") are making huge gains, the
same can be said for pre-rolled and edibles. Edibles are simply
eaten, and can be "dosed" out so you don't overdo it; pre-rolled
joints are as simple as lighting a cigarette — no rolling skills
required. Cannabis oil marries the convenience of both.

On top of those conveniences, oil cartridges are inexpensive and
travel easily. Best of all, using a cannabis oil vape produces
none of the characteristic smells or clouds of smoke associated
with traditional cannabis consumption.


Cannabis Oil use
These are sales numbers from 2016.
BDS Analytics

All that growth has led to tens of millions of dollars in
sales thus far, with an even brighter future expected as the
market expands —
despite huge wins for recreational cannabis sales in November
2016
, regulation and implementation doesn't kick in until
January 2018 in many states. As commercial sales begin and more
of the public tries these easy-to-use, disposable cartridges,
expect even more explosive growth.

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