It was only 10 years ago when PAX was one of only a handful of companies manufacturing dry herb vaporizers. Even as new entrants came to bear PAX ruled the roost above the competition with their PAX original, PAX 2 and PAX 3 Vaporizers. While other vaporizers such as the Mighty by Storz & Bickel or the Firefly 2+ were higher quality – they were not as portable, easy to use and moreover didn’t have the hip factor provided by the PAX 3.
While PAX still produces and sells their flagship PAX 2 and PAX 3 Vaporizers they have shifted a considerable amount of their attention towards the PAX Era. The Era is PAX’s concentrate vaporizer that uses prefilled proprietary cartridges. This shift was cited as one of the reasons we will not see a PAX 4 Vaporizer anytime soon. This latest development drives that point home even more with PAX’s own COO, Steven Jung, stating in a recent Fast Company article , “Vapes as a category are definitely a race to the bottom, We strategically don’t want to compete at that level.”
Up until now the cannabis extracts for the Era pods were sourced from a 3rd party such as Bloom Farms. PAX’s latest pivot yet again shows that they are less bullish on the vaporizer hardware space and more interested in synergies with the commodity itself.
There is a general consensus that vaping pods are less healthy than the tried and true flower vapes. PAX is seeking to address this with their in-house live rosin pods.
PAX has released their own fresh pressed live rosin pods which are meant to address the negative perception of Era extract pods being less healthy than other methods. During the public health vape scare of 2019, JUUL (PAX Lab’s sister company) came under harsh scrutiny for the slew of health issues that afflicted many youth who were vaping. The pod vaporizers like the Era got grouped in with their similarity to e-cigarettes and consumer sentiment has not fully recovered.
The PAX Rosin pods are made from 100% cannabis and pressed without any solvents or chemical additives. They have further engineered the pod to ensure the rosin only comes in contact with ceramic – the go to material for vaping both flower and concentrates.
Must be the Money
The bottom line is certainly the reason behind this pivot. Jung is correct with vaporizers being a race to the bottom. Looking back to 2015 when consumer price index levels were nowhere near what they are today the Classic Volcano was $539 and authorized vendors could not discount. Now the desktop icon is only $407 (with your 15% off discount) .The PAX 2 was $249 (Now $149). New entrants came to market in droves and have saturated the vaporizer space leaving the pioneers like PAX , Firefly & Arizer with less market share, forcing them to drop prices to compete.
Extracts are the Future
Another interesting trend PAX is keen on with this play is the rise of concentrated (or extracted cannabis) often referred to as dabs. Dabs have been growing in popularity and that cannot be demonstrated anymore by the overnight success of vaporizers like the Puffco Peak. If vaping herb from your Plenty Vaporizer is drinking a beer, hitting your Puffco Peak is taking a shot. More and more users are switching to concentrated cannabis as a quicker, easier and more effective way to consume from traditional flower and PAX having a footing in both segments (flower vapes and concentrate vapes) can see this play out and make business decisions accordingly.
While we do not anticipate PAX to scrap their PAX 3 anytime soon, it certainly tells us the PAX 4 Vaporizer is not in the near future and that PAX Labs is looking outside of vaporizers to grow, no pun intended.