Back in 2012, an influx of new vape stores started pouring into the cities in my state.
They took a lot of empty storefronts in strip malls that had sat empty in the years since the 2008 Financial Recession.
Many assumed that these vape stores were the start of a new market for tobacco consumption, one that was posing serious threats to the cigarette industry. I wouldn’t pretend to completely understand a market that is of no interest to me, but I know that big tobacco was able to push serious changes to the PACT Act that took a massive blow to the nicotine vape industry over the past year. Friends of mine who quit smoking cigarettes and moved to vaporizing e-juice were so angry when they found out they were no longer allowed to order products from online retailers. It moved all sales to physical stores and took a massive blow to the industry in a short span of time. But oddly enough, a lot of the few existing physical nicotine vape stores in my area were already out of business before this change took place. So by the time it had finally occurred, there weren’t nearely as many vape stores as there were just a few years prior. Most of ours became CBD stores around 2019 after hemp had been broadly legalized for at least a year. Even though some of them have been around for essentially three years, they still carry sketchy products that I can’t trace to legitimate sources. This is worrisome if the CBD could have residual solvents leftover from the extraction process.