In an all too often recurring trend we are seeing yet another vaporizer manufacturer close its doors – VapeXHale / Hanu Labs is going out of business. Different this time from other company closures is the popularity and high regard of the flagship vaporizer in question. The VapeXHale Cloud Evo Vaporizer has been one of the highest rated desktop vaporizers since its May 2013 debut. One of the healthiest cannabis vaporizers on the market the Cloud Evo held it’s weight, even against stalwarts like the Volcano Vaporizer.
The Cloud Evo was a blockbuster vaporizer that once commanded a larger share of the vaporizer market than it currently does today. The early 2010’s were a great time to be a manufacturer or retailer of high end vaporizers – long before Google, Paypal and the other tech juggernauts banned advertising or payments.
During the hay days a handful of brands, PAX, Storz & Bickel and VapeXhale amongst the few, existed with their vaporizers priced higher than they are today. As legalization swept the country and technology improved, more competition came bearing in and today we are seeing everything from artisan vaporizers to Chinese rebrands. The anticipated growth of the vaporizer market never materialized and projected figures fell short. Unable to finance mounting debt caused many companies such as Herbalizer, Ghost Vapes and now VapeXhale to close up shop.
VapeXhale Pivots with Hanu Labs
Not totally short sighted VapeXhale did make a pivot in 2019 with Hanu Labs. This play put them into the concentrate vaporizer space with their extract cartridge vaporizer, the Hanu Stone. The extract cartridge space is where we have seen PAX put alot of it’s chips lately with not only licensing the proprietary pods but now producing their own Rosin pods. With the concentrate vaporizer and proprietary pods, companies stand a lot more to gain with recurring revenue. However this is a space that requires alot of capital and investment to break into. PAX has alot more than VapeXHale / Hanu Labs and this ate up a considerable amount of cash.
While we do not know specifics of the Hanu Stone’s financial impact on the company, it was not received well as a vape pen and had a limited run at a few dispensaries before being removed from the shelfs. It is safe to assume the Hanu Stone missed the mark or was never ready for a massive roll out and drained resources from VapeXHale’s bread and butter – The Cloud Evo Vaporizer.
Change in Leadership
With the release of the Hanu Stone, VapeXhale brought in talent that had worked distributing prefilled cartridges to San Francisco Bay Area dispensaries. In 2021 VapeXHale founder Seibo Shen stepped aside and Ricardo Willis took over as CEO – Continuing sales of their product line up. Things looked rosy with Hanu’s September 2021 announcement of a new vaporizer release; an upgraded Cloud Evo model dubbed the Petra.
Hanu Petra Vaporizer Release
The Petra emulated most of the qualities which made the Cloud Evo such a success while improving on the original’s minor design flaws, such as tipping over from being top heavy and having a complex hydratube only supported by an 18mm glass male joint. The adjustments were mainly cosmetic with some minor adjustments to airflow.
However the writing seemed to be on the wall for Hanu Labs, with the keynote introduction of the Petra Vaporizer touting a Christmas 2021 release. Over one year later we still have no Petra Vaporizer. Pre-Sales were not enough to assist in financing mass production and with slowing sales of Cloud Evo Vaporizers, supply chain issues and rising production costs VapeXHale / Hanu Labs had to throw in the towel.
The Vaporizer Market is Going Small
No one would have imagined that widespread legalization might be a bad thing for cannabis vaporizers. Yet in a way it has given the average user more access to a wider variety of products: gummies, tinctures, dabs, etc. The practice of grinding up herb, packing it in and waiting 45 seconds for your vaporizer to heat up requires alot of patience and attention when you can pull out a vape pen and take a quick hit in 5 seconds flat, or put some droplets on your tongue and be good to go.
Add to that the new entrants. Over the years we have seen many artisans get into the vaporizer space. Smaller companies and craftsmen with less overhead who are not seeking to be multi-million dollar cannabis conglomerates are pumping out great vaporizers. Vaporizers such as the Tiny Might, RBT Splinter and VapCap have garnered a loyal following amongst the most loyal dry herb vaporizer aficionados; The ones with VAS (vapor acquisition syndrome) who do buy new vaporizers every 6-12 months.
The VapeXhale Cloud Evo was a great vaporizer and it is sad to see this product go away. We hope that someone purchases the company to bring the Cloud Evo back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now. We will continue to sell the refurbished Cloud Evo and should have some information for Cloud Evo owners where they can send their units for repair.