On a recent morning in the city of Washington state, I stood at the back of the vape shop and sipped a fresh cup of coffee.
It’s not a traditional coffee shop, but the owner is a native of Hawaii, where a coffee shop is not uncommon.
She introduced me to the shop’s owner, who was sitting in the middle of a large table, a long red towel draped across his lap.
A young man with a red beard sat behind him, holding a big box of vape cartridges and a small plastic bag.
“It’s a new product,” he said, explaining that the company sells cartridges to people with cancer.
The cartridges were about the size of a cigarette packet, but with a distinctive aroma, a sweet flavor and a subtle floral taste.
“I was really excited,” the man said.
“You could see the product coming out of the cart.”
“What’s in it?”
He explained that the cartridges contain a proprietary blend of flavors that work together to create a vapor that has been purified and purified again, which allows it to taste as fresh as possible.
The product is currently available in Hawaii, New York, Florida and California.
I asked him about his background in vaping, and he explained that he grew up in Hawaii and that his first experience with vaping was at the local coffee shop.
“My father started using electronic cigarettes,” he told me.
“He was a pharmacist.
He got in trouble with the FDA for that, so he quit.
Then, one day, I started hearing about this new product.
He had this company called Vape Direct.
I had never heard of it, and I thought, Oh, this must be a thing.
I called him up and said, How are you doing?
He said, Well, we’re doing great.”
He added, “I said, What’s in the cart?”
He was shocked, and it was clear he didn’t know the product he was selling.
“And he said no, I’m not selling it,” I said.
Then he showed me a few of the cartridges he had purchased from the vape store.
I told him about a company called Bumble, which is based in New York City, and explained that Vape Express, the online retailer of the company, sells the same cartridges.
“But I’ve got to do a little bit of research before I give you any money,” he replied.
“Well, I know that Bumble sells to some pharmacies in New Jersey,” I added.
“Right now, Bumble is selling to some places in New Zealand and Australia.”
“Oh, okay,” he exclaimed.
You’re making money off me.”
“But what about the FDA?”
“Oh yeah, I don’t know anything about it.
But I do know that the FDA has a lot of issues with them,” he responded.
“The FDA says that vaping products are not safe,” I continued, referring to the government agency that oversees the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“So if you’re going to be doing this, it’s better to do it in a place that’s not regulated.”
He then explained that his company was going to go to New Zealand to market the product.
“If you’re gonna do it here, I want you to know that New Zealand has this new law,” he added.
He then asked me to take a picture of the product, and asked me if I could take a few minutes to read about the product and its ingredients.
“Okay, let me read the labels.
And you know, there are about two thousand pages,” he explained.
I took a picture and left it on my phone for him to read.
The next day, he called me back.
“Have you done anything with it?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I replied.
He looked at me and said that I was very lucky.
He was right.
He has now purchased enough of the products I bought and sold, including a cart that he was able to buy for less than $5.
He also sold another cart to a friend for $7.
I was shocked.
“What do you think?”
I said, “If it’s not safe, how can I be so happy?”
“It will be safe when it’s approved by the FDA,” he answered.
“Do you know if it will be approved by a different FDA?”
“And can you show me the packaging for it?”
“Well I think the packaging is supposed to be the same.
It should be the exact same.”
“So it’s like you’re selling a product that’s supposed to not be safe?”
“No, it will not be unsafe.”
I asked, “You don’t have any experience selling cigarettes or vaping?”
“I’ve never done anything like this.”
“Well you haven’t been doing it, do you?”