Vape Pens Illinois Infusers can now manufacture cartridges for. (unsplash)
Illinois infuser license holders got a big break this week when state regulators on Tuesday announced revised guidance that now allows infusers to make vape cartridges. For some infusers, all of whom are still in the early stages, the change could bring in a third more revenue than previously planned.
“This is great news for us. That was a big part of our business model,” said Anton Seals, co-founder of Chicago-based infusion company OURS. “We have looked at groceries because it is a growing sector, but how much it will grow is unknown. But vaporizers still dominate.”
Vaporizers make up a large portion of Illinois cannabis sales. According to an August 2021 report from Headset, more than 26% of cannabis purchases were for vapers. Operators Grown In has said that this number remains generally true.
Unlike most states that have processing or manufacturing licenses, Illinois law created brews that cannot extract oil. Additionally, state law defines a “cannabis-infused product” as “a beverage, edible, oil, ointment, tincture, topical formulation, or other product that contains cannabis or cannabis concentrate and is not designed for smoking.” . In addition, the law defines “smoking” as the “inhalation of smoke caused by the combustion of cannabis.”
This summer, Illinois issued 54 infuser licenses, all of which are still in the planning or construction phase. Infuser licenses were originally scheduled to be issued in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic and lawsuits against the state have delayed licensing.
Last month, the Department of Agriculture, the agency that oversees infusion licenses, announced its first guidance on what products infusers can make, banning vape cartridges at the time because the agency ruled it was a product for smokers.
[Read the guidance document]
This week, however, the agency backtracked, stating that “vaping is generally not considered ‘smoking’ unless combustion is required to vaporize the ‘cannabis-infused product.'”
Now that infusers can make vape carts, many license holders are ambiguous.
“The process took so long that at first we were interested [in vapes], and then when they said no vapes or pre-rolls, we just focused our business plan on groceries. With [this week’s] Review, we do a market and cost analysis to see if it fits. The cost of spirits is still very high compared to other markets,” said Allison Dries, co-founder of Infuser Krown, Inc., based in Pekin, Illinois.
“I feel like the market space is small and concentrated, so product diversity is important to the longevity of any company. It’s not part of our current business plan, but if things don’t work out, it’s wonderful to be able to consider a second option,” said Kate Nadolski, co-founder of Infusor Culinary Cannabis in suburban northern Illinois.
“I think it really broadens the potential offering in a way that could grow the business in the long run. It adds some abilities that it didn’t have before. It will still be very competitive. It is very difficult to compete with farms in terms of price and quality. They can look for phenomenal strains, as we as infusers will trust what they provide us. That will be a challenge for us,” Dries said.
Alisa Brill, co-founder of artisan grower Drisco Farms in Rockford, Ill., says infusers who have the opportunity to sell vaporizers should expand the market for artisan growers like her.
“I think ultimately it will help us because we will be able to mine an extra £600 a day and we will be able to sell distillate to infusers. It will probably help us in the long run,” she said.
Infusers, looking at how other states work, are urging state legislatures to change the law so they can prosecute it, said Seals, who attended the state’s original cannabis legislative process in 2019.
“They should have only processed infusers from the beginning. That would have been power to us if we could have distilled ourselves. From the looks of it, it’s going to cost about $2.5 million to $3 million to set up a place just to infuse it,” Seals said.
Source : localtoday.news