Legitimate Kingpen carts have won numerous awards at cannabis competitions, making them a popular target for bootleggers. So how do you distinguish a counterfeit Kingpen vape from a real one?
For many cannabis users, the convenience and simplicity of using a vape pen to medicate or catch a buzz can’t be beat. Top-quality cannabis oils offer a potent and flavorful experience, and vapes have become the preferred method of ingestion for many consumers.
The popularity of cannabis vape cartridges, however, also presents an opportunity for unlicensed and unscrupulous businesses to take advantage of consumers by cutting corners and providing inferior products. Some of these illicit operators also steal the intellectual property of established licensed cannabis brands and piggyback off their success with counterfeit and bootleg products sold on black market
What’s the Risk?
Using these phony products can be risky. Unlicensed operators don’t have their raw materials and finished products lab tested for safety, which is a requirement for all legitimate operators in the cannabis space. Untested products can be tainted with a host of unsafe contaminants including heavy metals, bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms and the toxins they produce.
Counterfeit and unlicensed manufacturers will also often dilute the cannabis oils they use with thickeners or other cutting agents in order to stretch out their supplies and maximize profits. But the safety of these additives is not known. In the continuing nationwide rash of lung injuries that have been linked to vaping, taking at least eight lives so far, health officials are narrowing in on the additive vitamin E acetate as a potential cause of the illnesses. Although the product is widely considered safe when used topically or as a supplement, vitamin E acetate may pose health risks when vaporized and inhaled. But health experts, including the CDC, are yet to confirm that vitamin E acetate is even the cause of this illness.
One brand that has seen more than its fair share of counterfeit carts made to look like its products is Kingpen, manufactured by Loudpack, Inc., a licensed cannabis firm in California. Legitimate Kingpen carts have won numerous awards at cannabis competitions, making them a popular target for fakes. The company is upfront and transparent about the issue, acknowledging on its website that “since launching in 2014, Kingpen has been navigating a global counterfeiting issue.”
How to Spot Bootleg Kingpens
To help consumers ensure that they are purchasing legitimate Kingpen carts, the company has rolled out an online verification system for its products. Kingpen vape cartridges are now sold in packaging that includes new elements that help ensure consumers that they are buying the real thing, along with a QR code that links to the company’s KPValid verification page online.
The first new security feature now being included on Kingpen carts packaging is a six-digit alphanumeric serial number that is concealed beneath a scratch-off panel. After scanning the QR code with a cellphone or navigating to www.KPValid.com and scratching off the panel to reveal the six digits, the serial number is entered into the appropriate box. Each serial number is only used once, allowing the company to verify that the cart is legitimate through its database.