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NEWSLETTER

Want to stay in the loop on the latest from the world of cannabis vaping? This is the place to do it!

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Scaling in Vape Takes Planning & The RingSystem

Scaling up is challenging for any business, but in the cannabis industry, MSOs looking to scale their vape operations have a particularly difficult time planning. Vape cartridges are ordered eight weeks or more in advance and strain specific customizations are made to those cartridges in China. Many times the end result is a projection mismatch between the number of customized cartridges delivered and the number of customized cartridges to serve demand. In other words, the cannabis company ends up sitting on cartridges that cannot be repurposed because the colors, logos or other custom design elements are strain or brand specific. There are a variety of reasons for this misalignment. It could be that sales projections were way off due to the speed with which consumer preferences and prices fluctuate. Or, it could be that a particular batch of a vape formulation was larger or smaller than anticipated.

So the question is, how can this supply chain process be better managed? Perhaps ordering blank cartridges with no differentiating factors is the answer? Well then how does your brand differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive space? And how will consumers tell the difference between your vape SKUs?

Recognizing that this was a serious pain point for its MSO and LP clients, The Blinc Group began researching how to solve this problem. In 2021, the RingSystem was introduced by Blinc at MJBiz. Its reception was nothing short of jaw dropping as client after client soon realized that this could be a game changer for them.

The RingSystem is an innovative derivative of the 510 thread cartridge that gives cannabis vape brands better control of their inventory. The Ring System consists of a slender metal ring that slips over a portion of the mouthpiece (Tip Ring) or slips over a portion of the base of the tank (Base Ring). Each ring is branded using soft touch, etching or a wrap. Instead of custom cartridges that cannot be repurposed, custom rings are produced to identify each specific vape SKU. Those rings are then shipped with the blank cartridges to the client. The client is now in control of exactly how many cartridges are branded given their immediate manufacturing needs and if those needs change, the rings are easily swapped out so the cartridges can be allocated to another SKU.

Putting this inventory control back in the hands of the producer allows for great flexibility and market experimentation as even small test batches can be branded State-side quickly and easily. But having such control requires the ability to install these rings onto the blank cartridges at scale. Thankfully Blinc’s engineering team has been forward thinking and designed a tray and jig system that now allows for 50 rings to be installed on 50 cartridges at a time. This semi-automatic process has now made the RingSystem concept a complete solution for managing this supply chain headache.

Vape cartridges are one of the largest ancillary expenditures an MSO or LP makes. The industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these hardware SKUs because the vape segment of the industry continues to grow exponentially. With the RingSystem now available, we expect to see those early adopters save considerable money as no longer will unused branded cartridges be left to rot and collect dust in warehouses across North America.

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