Canada’s independent third-party cannabis testing company Labstat International Inc., in partnership with The Blinc Group, the designer and provider of premium, customized and bespoke vaporizer technologies, announced the launch of the first North American Cannabis Vape Consumption Survey aimed at better understanding how consumers use vaping devices.
Administered by Abacus Data, the Cannabis Vape Consumption Survey will collect information from both medical and adult-use consumers across North America to assist Labstat and the Blinc Group in developing a baseline “puffing regime” for cannabis vape testing. A consumer’s smoking behavior influences potential exposure to harmful or potentially harmful contaminants and the puffing regime is an important aspect of risk assessment. This newly defined cannabis puffing regime will further inform the standardization of quality and safety testing protocols designed for today’s complex cannabis vape devices.
“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. It’s understandable that cannabis is still an emerging industry and has yet to establish standardization across the board, which is an important cornerstone for success. As a Health Canada licensed and ISO accredited laboratory, with 45 years of experience, Labstat is uniquely positioned to work with the Blinc Group on this study. Our specific expertise in testing smoke and vapor from these types of devices ensures that our findings will help bring the cannabis industry one step closer in their pursuit of appropriately standardizing testing protocols,” said Peter Joza, Chief Technical Officer of Labstat.
“Lawmakers and regulators have been trying to determine the best ways to govern the cannabis vaping industry. While there are standards already in use for nicotine vaping, cannabis consumers use these products in a distinct way. We hope this consumption survey will provide the necessary answers to better understand the cannabis vape consumer and help us generate informed policies and standard vaping profiles that will support the industry to grow responsibly and safely,” said Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, CEO and co-founder of the Blinc Group.
In a 2019 National Cannabis Survey administered by Stats Canada “76% of Canadians who consumed cannabis in the first half of 2019 cited quality and safety as an important consideration when purchasing cannabis.” Despite the consumer’s focus on safety and quality, Health Canada has yet to establish testing standards or regulatory requirements for the analysis of cannabis vapour in Canada. This dearth of regulatory guidance leaves industry and government at risk of allowing products on shelves that could have potential adverse health effects for Canadian consumers. The Cannabis Vape Consumption Survey will gather real-world consumption data from over 2,000 participants to help fill this glaring gap.
The 2019 EVALI crisis in the United States has led to great debate over how to protect cannabis vape consumers and illustrated the need for more research into the issue. The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division recently passed new regulations that “by January 2022, all cannabis concentrates in vaporized delivery devices must be tested for heavy metal contaminants in the emitted aerosol by an authorized testing facility.”
This makes Colorado one of the first in the world to require aerosol testing for cannabis vaping products. While the regulations do not officially come into effect until Jan 2022, the impacts to the cannabis industry on both sides of the border will be deep.
“The policy enacted by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has created a great deal of interest from other state legislatures looking to update their regulations. As Chairman of the ISO Standards Board on Vaping, I am regularly contacted to advise on how markets can implement safer vaping protocols. Better understanding how consumers utilize vaping devices is the first step in drafting safety protocols that make sense for the users and the industry. We’re hoping that this partnership with Labstat will generate the research and answers that we are looking for to develop the puffing regime we need,” added Dumas de Rauly.
Before researchers can test vape aerosols for heavy metals and microbial pathogens, they must first determine the best way to mimic the inhalation patterns of the average cannabis vape consumer. That requires a standardized puffing regime or test method, similar to CORESTA Method 81, which determines how researchers generate and collect aerosols from tobacco e-cigarettes.
To set a puffing regime based on the reality of today’s vape consumers, the survey aims to collect data from more than 2,000 medical and adult-use cannabis consumers across North America.
Headquartered in New York City, the Blinc Group designs, develops, supplies, and supports premium cannabis vaping hardware. The company offers a curated collection of proven cartridges, batteries, ready to use vaporizers and complete bespoke device development to multi-state operators, licensed producers, and brands. Blinc completes the value chain by providing its clients access to a suite of support services ranging from research and development, production, testing, standard operating procedures, training and all the way to go-to-market strategy and brand communications consulting. With full control of the supply chain, the company’s unique “Powered by Blinc” process enables clients to provide innovative, safe, and quality-controlled products to cannabis consumers worldwide.
Labstat is proud to be part of the Certified Group, a network of best-in-class companies, all experts in their unique specialties, converging to help simplify analytical testing and regulatory compliance for businesses in highly regulated markets. Known as the world’s gold standard in analytical excellence, Labstat was founded in 1976 and began testing cannabis products in 1981 with their first Health Canada commissioned study and corresponding publication. Since that time, they have grown their analytical capabilities in multiple technical areas ranging from the analysis of cannabis aerosol in e-vapor devices and heat-not-burn products, to cannabis smoke and vapour. Labstat is an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited and Health Canada licensed testing facility. For more information visit www.labstatadvantage.com