One of the biggest challenges of owning a vape shop is the constant struggle to remain relevant in a constantly changing industry. If you’ve been in the vaping industry for a while, you’ve probably experienced near-complete product turnover more than once as consumers’ preferences have changed.
Today, you’re facing the same issue once again. Vapers have migrated in a big way from refillable vaping devices to disposable ones – and that’s not the only major change. There’s also an entirely new range of vaping products that’s attracting millions of new people into the fold.
The new kid on the block is Delta-8 THC – and if you aren’t carrying it in your vape shop, you’re missing out on an opportunity to dramatically grow your business.
So, what do you need to do if you want to carry Delta-8 THC products in your vape shop – and what is Delta-8 in the first place? You’re about to learn the answers to those questions and more, because this is the complete guide to selling Delta-8 in your vape shop.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a hemp-based cannabinoid that’s molecularly similar to the more famous Delta-9 THC. Like Delta-9, Delta-8 is also a psychoactive substance with recreational uses. People also use Delta-8 for its relaxing and sedating properties. In terms of its psychoactive properties, Delta-8 is substantially milder than Delta-9 and less likely to cause side effects like anxiety and paranoia.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
Yes; Delta-8 THC is federally legal because it is derived from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp containing less than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC is federally legal following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, and all extracts and other products made from industrial hemp are also federally legal. Delta-8 is also legal in most states, although you’ll want to check your state’s laws before carrying it.
Selling Delta-8 products in your vape shop does mean that you’ll have yet another set of compliance requirements to stay on top of – and compliance within the vaping industry has always been a difficult moving target. It’s worth the effort, though, because of the market’s immense potential.
How Big Is the Addressable Market for Delta-8 THC?
The reason why Delta-8 THC has the potential to be transformative for your vape shop is because the size of the addressable market rivals the size of the entire nicotine vaping industry. One way to confirm that is by looking at the most common search keywords relating to vaping and Delta-8 and comparing the volume those keywords receive each month.
Here are the monthly search volumes in the United States for some of the most common vaping-related and Delta-8-related keywords as of late 2022.
Vaping Search Keywords
- Vape Shop: 531,000
- Vape: 439,000
- Vapes: 391,000
Delta-8 Search Keywords
- Delta 8: 618,000
- Delta 8 THC: 193,000
What Delta-8 Products Should a Vape Shop Carry?
If you want to start carrying Delta-8 THC in your vape shop, it’s not just a matter of carrying one product or one type of product – it’s an entire ecosystem of products, just like the traditional vaping industry. It’s going to take a bit of an investment. As you can see from the search volumes mentioned above, though, the size of the potential market makes the investment worthwhile. These are the Delta-8 products that a good vape shop should carry.
If the hardware that you sell in your vape shop primarily consists of vape mods and pod systems, you’ll need to make some additions to your product selection if you want to sell Delta-8 because the thick oil-based concentrates that people typically use when they vape Delta-8 don’t work well with traditional e-liquid vaping products. In addition, vape mods typically operate at higher power levels that could potentially cause Delta-8 oils to burn.
For Delta-8 vaping, the ideal hardware device to use is a low-power vape pen or a vaporizer specifically designed for oil vaping. Usually, the best oil vaporizers are either regulated to operate at a constant 3.7 volts or offer a few selectable power levels. Don’t offer a vape pen that operates in bypass mode to customers who want to try vaping Delta-8 because that type of device will operate at 4.2 volts when it’s fully charged. That’s too much power for many vape cartridges and will cause the oil in those cartridges to burn.
If you want your vape shop to become your area’s new Delta-8 superstore, you’re definitely going to have to offer some cartridges because a vape cartridge is what you need for oil-based concentrates – and Delta-8 oils are what almost everyone uses.
This is another case where the equipment you should offer will differ substantially from what you’re currently selling. As we mentioned above, vape coils with cotton wicks – which is probably the vast majority of what’s currently available at your vape shop – perform poorly with thick oils. Instead, you need to carry cartridges with ceramic wicks. Hamilton Devices is a distributor that specializes in vaporizers, ceramic cartridges and other hardware and accessories for Delta-8 vaping. They’re a great distributor to use if you want to get all of your supplies from one place.
Don’t forget that there are also some people who would rather not go through the trouble of filling their own cartridges. For those people, it’s a good idea to carry an assortment of pre-filled Delta-8 cartridges.
Delta-8 Disposable Vapes
There will always be some people who want to try vaping Delta-8 but don’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining a vaping device. For those people, you should consider stocking some Delta-8 disposable vapes. They’re pre-filled and ready for immediate use, just like traditional disposable vapes – but they’re filled with Delta-8 oil instead of e-liquid. Disposable vapes are very convenient for people who want to try Delta-8 in the easiest way possible.
Although the vast majority of Delta-8 vaping products are oil-based concentrates, Delta-8 e-liquids also exist. In a Delta-8 e-liquid, the oil is diluted with VG and PG like a traditional vape juice. That means it’ll work in any vape tank. Delta-8 e-liquids aren’t as potent as oil-based concentrates, but some of your customers won’t mind the lower potency if it means that they can use the vaping equipment they already have.
Delta-8 Edibles and Tinctures
If you’re already carrying Delta-8 products, why not carry something for everyone? There are plenty of people out there who are interested in trying Delta-8 but would prefer to use it in some way other than by vaping it. For those people, tinctures and edible products such as Delta-8 gummies are ideal. Who knows – if you carry a wide variety of different products, your vape shop could end up becoming the leading source for Delta-8 THC in your area.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue.