New tariffs on Chinese tech imports are coming down the pipes, meaning your favorite vaporizer may become a lot more expensive.
The Trump administration has proposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of tech imports that includes both vaporizers and batteries, which could see the burgeoning vape sector of the cannabis industry suffer some heavy losses, according to Aaron LoCascio - founder and CEO of Greenlane, one of the most prominent online retailers of vaporizers.
"The proposed tariffs are creating a tremendous amount of turmoil," LoCascio told Inc. "This could be ugly."
LoCasico estimates that somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of all vaporizer products are manufactured in China, with places like Canada, Germany and India producing the rest. And while sourcing products from these other countries is possible, the most popular products are all currently made in China.
Sourcing batteries outside of China, however, is nearly impossible. That's "the biggest concern of mine for the industry," LoCascio explained.
And that's bad news for the vape shoppers, who will be forced to pick up the tab for the price increase.
"Eventually, the consumer will shoulder the cost," explained Jeremy Heidl, president and co-founder of Organa Brands, a cannabis oil extractor that also imports vaporizers from China.
Despite those fears, Heidl says the cannabis market is in a near constant state of flux anyway, and he's hopeful the tariffs will be short lived.
"We're remaining positive. We're in the cannabis industry. So when you take this in context of all the punches in the face we take, this is just a slap."
However, in states that already apply high taxes on cannabis products and accessories, "adding a 25 percent tariff could be disastrous" for some businesses, says LoCascio.