Dear Stoner: I’m curious about buying a vape pen and wondering what brand or type you recommend and which is the most popular.
Dear Tom: It depends on how you plan to use your vape pen. Are you a flower guy? Do you want to smoke oils? If so, do you want to load them yourself, or do you want something more “plug and play”? Some like the ease and function of the pre-loaded vape pens and refills like O.pen, while others want to load oils and waxes into the pens themselves. Others just want to be able to vape buds. The O.pen Vape-style pens are great for stealth usage, as the vapor exhaled doesn’t have much of a smell, and the cartridges look like the ones that tobacco users puff on. They’re also relatively cheap ($15 for the pen and around $30 for a cartridge), but they aren’t favored by connoisseurs because they tend to be made with lower-quality oils that don’t have much flavor. O.pen will be releasing a new line of cartridges soon that it says have a much greater flavor profile, thanks to new extraction methods that preserve the flavor-containing oils and terpenes.
Our preference is for the Cloud-style pens that let us load pea-sized chunks of hash wax or shatter. They’re available through different companies, but almost all of them look like oval-shaped USB drives or tubes of lipstick. I’ve had one for about three years, and though I’ve had to replace the heat element a few times at $15 a pop, it’s been really good to me. The benefit is that I can put in high-potency, high-flavor oils and change out strains as I see fit. The downside is that the “vapor” exhaled is actually more like smoke, and that and the smell make it less discreet.
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Cloud also makes a pen dubbed the Phantom for vaping flowers, and for the size and function, it’s among the tops we’ve tried. We’ve also recently been suggesting the PAX 2 vaporizer, though you’d better have a thick wallet, as a new one will run you around $250.
Dear Stoner: What type of insurance coverage is needed on an MMJ dispensary? Also, what type of coverage does a grower need?
Dear JP: We did some digging and were somewhat surprised to find that there are no state laws requiring marijuana dispensaries or grows to be insured. That doesn’t mean there aren’t insurers out there, though. Companies like Cannasure and Greenpoint offer general business insurance for dispensaries and landlords, as well as crop insurance for growers that covers everything from theft to hail damage to flooding. It seems like a good investment if you’ve got several million dollars’ worth of finicky greenery flowering under your roof.