Vaping Apps to Stop Working with iOS
One of the defining characteristics of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is the rule that requires patients to vaporize cannabis, rather than smoke it. This has caused understandable frustration for Ohio patients, as it essentially requires patients to purchase an external vaporization device in order to begin using medical cannabis. With cannabis pricing higher in Ohio than neighboring states, this can effectively price out some patients from staying compliant within Ohio's program.
For example, a vaporization device can run a patient anywhere from around $50 to upwards of $500. Furthermore, due to the State's incredibly restrictive regulations concerning vaporizers, many vaporizers that patients purchase are technically non-compliant as the heating device directly touches the cannabis material. So, even if you spend the extra money to purchase a vaporizer, in technicality the vaporizer you use may not be allowed in Ohio's medical marijuana program.
In this logic, the State has effectively outlawed any vaporization device aside from a very select few, while at the same time requiring patients to use a vaporizer. Many patients may not understand the nuance between a compliant vaporizer and a non-compliant vaporizer, and for this reason there is further confusion surrounding the prohibition of smoking in Ohio.
At this time, the only fully-approved and compliant vaporizer offered is the VTV Onyx from VT Vaporizers, a Cincinnati-based company.
There are likely a significant number of patients out there using products such as the Mighty or the Pax. And further, there are many vaporizers that are controlled using an app on your phone. We recently covered the shadowbanning of cannabis-related entities on Facebook, and it looks as though Apple is following suit as it was announced that Apple removed all 181 vaping-related apps from the App Store.
ZD Net reported last week that Apple was removing all vape-related apps from the App Store in response to the lung illness outbreak being investigated by the Center for Disease Control. The news comes as a shock for many patients, as the outbreak of lung illnesses is related to concentrated vape cartridges, which differ significantly from the vaporizers that are used for cannabis flower and concentrates. The outbreak of lung illnesses stemmed from black market THC cartridges, and had nothing to do with the vaporizers patients use to medicate every day.
The vaporizers that have been removed from the App Store are not directly related to concentrated cannabis cartridges, rather, the vaporizers that existed on the App Store were used in the manner that allows patients to remain compliant within Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program. By removing the apps from the App Store, Apple has effectively outlawed the use of certain vaporizers by medical cannabis patients.
There are a number of vaporizer devices that are reliant on USB and Bluetooth interfaces to enable the patient to control heat settings, display lights, and update the firmware. Furthermore, some of these apps allow patients the ability to measure and monitor usage, and in some cases even identify the medication loaded into the device, such as the overall cannabinoid profile, the terpene mix, and other components; it also allows a user to validate the authenticity of the medication as well as testing and batch results.
While the apps will not be deleted from user's phones and will still work independently for basic functionality, of most consequence to the decision to remove these apps is that patients will no longer be able to update the firmware, which means that the device will likely lose much of the services and features that allow patients a better cannabis experience.
I guess that this means, as patients, we can't have sleek, app-controlled, or connected medical vaping devices now. If they aren't entirely self-contained, as with a dumb battery stick, or with buttons and a dedicated display, then don't buy it... I loved the idea of patients being able to monitor usage and identify product and test results on their iPhones. Now, they can't. I guess I'm going back to stupid battery sticks and non-connected pods and flower vapes for the foreseeable future. Thanks for breaking my medical device and perpetuating marijuana stigma, Apple.
The silver lining in this announcement by Apple is that, at the moment, Google has not followed suit and removed these apps from the Google Play Store. Especially considering that Apple's actions have effectively started a countdown until these apps break as the app is no longer able to be updated, it is incredibly important for Google to dig their feet in the ground and take a stand.
All-in-all, the actions by Apple represent the lack of cannabis education that still persists in this country. As stated above, while Apple states that this decision was made in response to the lung illness outbreaks, the apps that they are targeting in this action do not involve the products that caused the lung illnesses. There is a huge difference between concentrated cannabis cartridges, the black-market product responsible for the outbreak, and cannabis vaporizers, a device required by the State of Ohio in order for patients to be able to use cannabis. It is incredibly important to distinguish that vaporizer devices serve as a necessity for many of patients across this country.
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (866-457-5559) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.