In the cannabis industry, professionals work hard to make sure that the products remain in adult hands only. Managed responsibly, cannabis has many benefits for adult physiology but is only safe for children with specific medical conditions under careful dosing and doctor supervision. To this end, the industry takes great effort in ensuring that cannabis is neither accessible nor attractive to underaged individuals.
Cannabis packaging has been regulated to ensure that kids don’t mistake it for candy. The industry has increased labeling and warning icon standards so that it’s clear that the products, no matter how cheerfully named, are medicated. And while the PACT act’s recent amendment may have introduced some hassle when it comes to product delivery, it represents another important step in keeping intoxicants out of underaged hands.
What is the PACT Act?
PACT stands for “Preventing All Cigarette Trafficking,” and the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children is the recent amendment currently impacting the cannabis industry. This quickly-passed piece of legislature bans shipping ANY vaping or vape-capable supplies through the mail. This act took out several supply brands specializing in mailing online vape pens, box mods, and all the associated parts. It has also had an impact on local smoke shops and cannabis dispensaries that sell similar products to the delight of clientele.
The act has effectively put a stop to mailing or shipping anything vape-related, including e-liquid with and without nicotine. The legislation came swiftly after the vape lung crisis from illegal THC cartridges and the teens-with-Juuls controversy which touched on both the nicotine and THC markets. This allows the PACT act to target the growing cannabis industry as or more directly than the tobacco industry which was already restricted in mail-order transport.
The Trouble with Teens and Illegal Online Orders
The focus of the PACT Act is that teens can (and have since the dawn of the internet) order things they shouldn’t online using a parents credit card. Kids should not be able to buy alcohol, nicotine, or cannabis online and have them conveniently delivered, no questions asked. This is the issue that the PACT Act is addressing. It is an important joint effort between the nicotine and cannabis industries to keep kids safe.
The Impact on Cannabis-Peripheral Businesses
While necessary, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children act resulted in a serious impact on the peripheral cannabis industry selling gear and supplies. It, intentionally or unintentionally, has resulted in a complete stoppage of many delivery and shipping services in the cannabis/tobacco shared market.
Smoke shops that once offered delivery (through local mail) have just stopped. Online brands specializing in supplies may have been gone out of business, or have had to alter their stock considerably to stay in business. Dispensaries, however, are in the best position to benefit due to our already adapted delivery methods.
Dispensary Delivery is Already PACT Compliant
Cannabis dispensaries are held to similar standards as alcohol and cigarettes when it comes to deliveries: they can’t mail it and they must see an ID before you can buy it. Add that to the pandemic and no-contact delivery roll-out and our industry has developed some very effective solutions to the whole legal delivery situation.
Dispensary delivery people already need to verify ID, then see an adult with a matching ID to complete a delivery. Local customers meet them at the door so they’re always certain the delivery goes into authorized adult hands. Dispensaries also have their own delivery fleets equipped to perform this extra level of security, unlike smoke shops that often rely on more limited gig-economy services or not at all. This means that dispensary delivery is already fully PACT compliant, which puts them in a strong market position.
Cornering the Market on Delivering Vape Supplies Safely to Adults
Since many online and delivery services have been halted by the PACT act amendment, dispensaries are now one of the very few businesses (except for a few proactive local smoke shops) able to deliver vape supplies directly to customers. Dispensaries have the only consistent business model that can deliver a vape pen in addition to a jar of buds and a few certified cartridges.
For this reason, dispensaries are incidentally cornering the market on the local sale of vape supplies. Because the cannabis delivery method is already compliant with preventing online sales to children, even people who don’t partake in THC are making orders just to get their e-cigarettes without going to the store.
Safety and Convenience in the Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry has been striving to find a balance between safety and convenience since the first state legalization. We work hard to adapt to each new regulation, obeying both the letter and the spirit of the law. In the case of the PACT act, there are harsh consequences to this wide-sweeping policy, but dispensaries today already believe in the spirit of the law–keeping intoxicants out of teen hands–and our methods are already in compliance with safe delivery standards.