THE world-famous vaping product which changed the legal landscape for European CBD is set for a relaunch.
Last November, six years after its unspectacular French debut, the KanaVape e-cigarette was on the tip of the tongue of any, and everyone, connected to the European cannabis industry.
Now, Sébastien Béguerie, co-founder of the company which developed the product is set to launch KanaVape2.0.
KanaVape2.0 Ready For Launch
Speaking to Anuj Desai on The Cannabis Conversation podcast recently he said KanaVape2.0 is nearly ready for launch.
He said: “As the court case proceeded we decided to hold back from marketing and selling KanaVape…I own the trademark and it’s ready to be relaunched.”
He said its constituent e-liquid will consist of a pure distillate extract featuring 50% CBD, 10% CBG and a number popular cannabis terpenes.
Industry Reaction To Relaunch
KanaVape’s launch in 2014 coincided with the huge surge in the popularity of vaping products as consumers switched from harmful, toxin and tobacco-based cigarettes.
In France and the UK it was branded as the ‘first cannabis e-cigarette’, but a lot has changed in the vaping and cannabis industry since then.
The European CBD market has grown massively and is now estimated to be worth over £1bn with vaping far less popular than other forms of ingestion such as oils and capsules.
Nevertheless, as Michael Hoban, Head of Marketing and Communications at UK-based canna-tech and global data firm Prohibition Partners says the KanaVape brand ‘will always have a unique place in the industry’.
“There will always be a certain caché attached to the KanaVape brand and if the marketing of the new KanaVape2.0 products is smart and effective it should be able to make use of this unique heritage and backstory to carve-out a niche in today’s fast-evolving market.”
London-based entrepreneur Alexej Pikovsky, CEO and founder of the on-line CBD retail and data platform Alphagreen, says KanaVape2.0 will be entering a much different market-place to the one that existed in 2014.
He said: “KanaVape is a great name and a pioneer in its own right. It has done a lot of good for the industry, but the market has evolved and it’s very hard to compete by just being the first into the market.
“Lots of new players have come into market in the last 24 months and many of these already have a much larger marketshare than the very first brands.
“So, their success will depend on the resources they have and how quickly they can get their brand back into the consumer’s mind.”
During his Cannabis Conversation interview Mr Béguerie went on to say products akin to KanaVape are currently being sold under his Golden Buds venture.
Golden Buds is based in the the Czech Republic and it was from Czechia that the CBD extract used in the original KanaVape product was imported into France.
In 2014 the French courts stepped into prevent the sale of the KanaVape electronic cigarette claiming its CBD distillate e-liquid was a narcotic due to the presence of THC.
Mr Béguerie and his co-director Antonin Cohen of KanaVape parent company SAS Catlab were both found guilty by the Criminal Court in Marseilles, given suspended jail terms of over a year and ordered to pay €10,000 fine.
The court ruled that the hemp products they were importing into France included extracts from the whole plant, and therefore were exposed to the potential of illegal levels of THC.
French law restricts the cultivation, importation, exportation and industrial and commercial use of hemp solely to its fibre and seeds.
However, the duo appealed to the ECJ which ruled last November that CBD is not a narcotic, and therefore, the import of the extract from the Czech Republic falls under the Free Movement of Goods rules applicable to all members of the European Union.
BusinessCann has approached both Mr Béguerie and Mr Cohen, who now runs Harmony CBD, for comments in relation to these developments.
Potential Fly In The Ointment?
Despite Mr Béguerie’s optimism on Kanavape2.0 BusinessCann understands there may still be some launch issues to resolve with his former business partner Mr Cohen. The ECJ decision also has to be officially adopted by the French Court of Appeal.