January 17, 2020

The impact of the vapor pen ban on Washington state cannabis market

How the recent Washington state flavored vape pens ban is impacting categories and overall trends within cannabis?
Written by
Cooper Ashley
Published on
January 17, 2020
Vapor pen icon
Interested in the vapor pen market? Read our comprehensive 2023 report. Get the low-down on which brands and form factors are gaining the most market share as well as demographics about the consumers doing the most purchasing.

The recently passed ban on flavored vaping products lead to big changes in the Adult Use cannabis marketplace.  The most notable trend was retailers steeply discounting products prior to the ban to clear inventory from shelves.  

Average discounts on Vapor Pens in Washington are typically around 10%, with holidays like 4/20, seeing discounts as high as 15%.  However, average discounts on Vapor Pens in WA spiked to 21% last week.  In comparison we see that during this same time period discounts on Flower trended downward.  In fact, average discounts in all categories except Vapor Pens decreased over the last few weeks.

% Discount Week Over Week – Flower vs. Vape Pens
% Discount Week Over Week – Flower vs. Vape Pens


The discounting of Vapor Pens was unique to the WA market with CA and NV seeing flat discounts over the same time period (note neither of these states passed any ban related to Vapor Pens).  In fact, the average discounts on Vapor Pens was not uniform across all types of Cartridges.  Brands that focused on flavored vapor pens saw steeper discounts with average discounts on their products cresting 35% and even 40% before the temporary ban on flavored vapor pens took affect.

% Discount on Vape Pens per State
% Discount on Vape Pens per State

Vapor Pen sales spiked in the days before the temporary ban took place as retailers marked down products and consumers stocked up on products that would no longer be available.  During this time Vapor Pen sales had dramatic shifts.  Vapor Pen market share on 10/9 was nearly 25% of total sales but dropped to around 12% in the last few days as retailers worked to refill the empty spots on left on their shelves after removing the flavored Vapor Pens.

 Vape Pens Sales Market Share Trend – Washington Stat
 Vape Pens Sales Market Share Trend – Washington Stat

We’ll continue monitoring the impact of the ban on the Vape Pens category within the cannabis market in Washington State, and any other potential government measures that could affect the cannabis industry. 

For more information on the Vape Pen category and the impact of the recent lung illness related news, check our Vape Pen Trends blog post

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