More Californians with medical marijuana prescriptions are trading in their after-work glass of vino for cannabis in vaporized form -- something advocates say offers a convenient and tailored amount of pot. Medical marijuana patient Teri Robnett, right, uses a vape pen to manage chronic fibromyalgia in December 2014. (Andy Cross, Denver Post file)

Vaping on the rise for medical marijuana patients

In 2015, only seven percent of Eaze's customers had ordered a vaporizer cartridge. By the end of 2016, 31 percent had ordered one

Will that be an evening cocktail — or some cannabis — with your dinner tonight?

According to a recent survey, more and more Californians with medical marijuana prescriptions are trading in their after-work glass of vino for the drug, often in vaporized form — something advocates say offers a convenient and tailored amount of pot.

“When we asked people, ‘What do you use for anxiety and stress relief?’ we see they are starting to recognize they get a lot of benefit from cannabis in the evenings,” said Jamie Feaster, vice president of marketing for Eaze, a San Francisco-based company that processes medical marijuana deliveries on demand, right to your door.

Fridays and Saturdays remain the most popular days of the week to place cannabis orders on the Eaze website, which are then fulfilled by a local medical marijuana dispensary, he said. But on weekdays, most orders are placed between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., peaking around 7 p.m.

The firm’s second annual “State of Cannabis” report, released Wednesday, relied on data from more than 250,000 of the company’s medical marijuana customers.

At least 5,000 of them also responded to surveys Eaze offered its customers throughout 2016, said Feaster.

In 2015, only seven percent of Eaze’s customers had ordered a vaporizer cartridge, the survey said. By the end of 2016, 31 percent had ordered one, a 429 percent year-over-year increase. The pre-filled disposable cartridges contain concentrated cannabis which can be vaporized with a battery-powered device.

Women in particular seem attracted to this form of ingesting cannabis, said Feaster. Not only can the drug be ordered discreetly, it produces less odor and mess.

The data also showed that baby boomers represent the fastest growing segment as a percentage of all Eaze users, growing 25 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1982) grew 8 percent and Millenials (born between 1983 and 1995) dropped three percent.
Feaster speculated that more boomers are buying because they have more disposable income, and as they age they are prone to developing serious health problems.

Meanwhile, the Eaze data shows that the Bay Area, particularly the East Bay, leads the state in cannabis consumption, followed by San Francisco, then the Peninsula and South Bay.

The Southland — both West and South Los Angeles — ranks fourth, followed by Orange County and San Diego.

That shouldn’t surprise anybody, said Feaster. While the proximity to the S.F.-based Eaze is likely a factor for Bay Area consumers, there is “a deep history” of medical marijuana in the East Bay, where the earliest pot dispensaries and advocacy groups in California were first established after voters in 1996 passed a law legalizing medical marijuana.

By comparison, he said, Southern California has tighter regulations, fewer dispensaries, and many cities in the region will not allow cannabis deliveries.

Those rules, however, are expected to loosen after Jan. 1, 2018. While Californians in November passed a new law that legalizes recreational pot and allows anyone 21 or older to use, possess or share marijuana, residents won’t be able to buy pot from a store until next year.

Read the entire Eaze study.

This story was first published on TheCannifornian.com