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Michael Wang: The Future of Vaping Tech Is Point-of-Use Age Gating

How Ispire built a multi-million-dollar vaping empire by solving pain points for cannabis brands and operators.

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This week, Michael Wang, co-CEO of Ispire Technology, joins the Cannabis Equipment News podcast to discuss how he helped build a multi-million-dollar vaping empire by solving pain points for cannabis brands and operators. 

Michael Wang started to pay attention to the cannabis industry about 20 years ago when Rick Simpson became an outspoken advocate for the plant's medicinal properties. 

While Simpson made Wang canna-curious, he truly started to believe in the power of the plant around 2010, when he personally benefitted from medicinal cannabis for pain relief. In 2018, he sold his e-commerce company and jumped with both feet into cannabis. 

At first, he joined Sunday Goods as co-CEO. He helped launch a vape line; however, Wang and his team weren't happy with any of the vaping hardware on the market. No matter which hardware he tried, it always gave him a burning sensation whenever he vaped. The hardware was overheating. 

Finally, an associate told Wang that if he genuinely wanted to solve his vape problems, he needed to talk to the godfather of the e-cigarette, Tony Liu. Liu is the inventor of the world's first commercially available e-cigarette. Wang spoke with Liu, and six weeks later, he had a new device in hand that blew his mind—it was smooth, flavorful, a game changer. 

Wang and Liu teamed up to launch Ispire Technology about three years ago. Wang says it was a marriage made in heaven. The company has succeeded by fundamentally changing how the industry works by solving common pain points for brands and operators. In the company's second year, it made some $40 million and is on pace for tremendous growth again this year. 

The company plans to debut some potentially game-changing new features this year, including age-gating technology to prevent underage use. The company is also working on a geofencing feature that will lock out devices where smoking is prohibited. 

Jump around: 

  • What's new in vaping technology. (12:02)
  • Fixing vaping industry pain points. (16:10)
  • Age-gating point of use technology. (19:08)
  • Will consumers buy into age-gating? (25:05)
  • Geofencing vape hardware. (30:38)
  • Will regulators buy into age-gating? (31:48)
  • Educating consumers to buy higher-quality hardware. (38:14)
  • Concerns over cheap vaping hardware. (41:36)
  • The current state of the cannabis industry. (49:24)

Please make sure to like, subscribe and share the podcast. You could also help us out by giving the podcast a positive review. Finally, to email the podcast or suggest a potential guest, you can reach David Mantey at [email protected].

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