Legitimate Kingpen carts have won numerous awards at cannabis competitions, making them a popular target for bootleggers. So how do you distinguish a counterfeit Kingpen vape from a real one?
For many cannabis users, the convenience and simplicity of using a vape pen to medicate or catch a buzz can’t be beaten. Also, top-quality cannabis oils offer a potent and flavorful experience. Thus vapes have become the preferred method of ingestion for many consumers.
The popularity of cannabis vape cartridges, however, also presents an opportunity for unlicensed and unscrupulous businesses to take advantage of consumers. They do this by cutting corners and providing inferior products. Some of these illicit operators also steal the intellectual property of established licensed cannabis brands. By so-doing, piggyback off their success with counterfeit and bootleg products sold on the black market.
What’s the Risk?
Using these phony products can be risky. Unlicensed operators don’t have their raw materials and finished products lab tested for safety. Which is a requirement for all legitimate operators in the cannabis space. Thus we have untested products, probably tainted with a host of unsafe contaminants. These including heavy metals, bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms and the toxins they produce.
Counterfeit and unlicensed manufacturers will also often dilute the cannabis oils they use with thickeners or other cutting agents. This is in order to stretch out their supplies and maximize profits. But we don’t know the safety of these additives. In the continuing nationwide rash of lung injuries that have been linked to vaping, taking at least eight lives so far, health officials are narrowing in on the additive vitamin E acetate as a potential cause of the illnesses. Although widely considered safe when used topically or as a supplement, vitamin E acetate may pose health risks when vaporized and inhaled. But health experts, including the CDC, are yet to confirm that vitamin E acetate is even the cause of this illness.
The king pen Vape brand
One Kingpen brand that has seen more than its fair share of counterfeit carts made to look like its products. With their manufacturer Loudpack, Inc., a licensed cannabis firm in California. Legitimate Kingpen carts have won numerous awards at cannabis competitions, making them a popular target for fakes. The company is upfront and transparent about the issue, acknowledging that “since launching in 2014, Kingpen has been navigating a global counterfeiting issue.”
To help their customers ensure that they were purchasing legitimate Kingpen carts, Loudpack began printing its king’s head logo on the cartridge itself. But this only temporarily kept the company a step ahead of the counterfeiters. Who eventually soon began using cartridges with the printed logo. Kingpen is “investing millions of dollars to redesign its packaging and product security,”. And have already sued Chinese companies that manufacture counterfeit packaging.
But until we handle the issue, what’s a cautious cannabis consumer to do? Is there a way to spot fake Kingpen cartridges? Thankfully, the answer is yes.
How to Spot Fake Kingpens
To help consumers ensure that they are purchasing legitimate Kingpen carts, the company has rolled out an online verification system for its products. The new Kingpen vape cartridges for sale now possess packaging that includes new elements. These help ensure consumers that they are buying the real thing, along with a QR code that links to the company’s KPValid verification.
Also, Kingpen carts packages now include a six-digit alphanumeric serial number concealed beneath a scratch-off panel. After scanning the QR code with a cellphone or navigating to www.KPValid.com, scratch off the panel to reveal the six digits. Enter the serial number into the appropriate box. Each serial number is only used once. This allows the company to verify that the cart is legitimate through its database.
Another security feature on the new packaging for Kingpen carts helps to prevent counterfeiting without scratching the panel to reveal the serial number. This can help consumers identify fakes in the dispensary before purchase. A holographic label on the cartridge box has hidden text and images that are revealed when the package is rotated. Rotate the box a quarter-turn to the left, the word “GENUINE” can be read. When you turn it a quarter-turn to the right, the word “KINGPEN” appears. Finally, rotate it a half-turn and viewed upside down, the king’s head logo on the label vanishes.
Above, a real Kingpen vape cartridge
More Facts on Kingpen Carts
Aside from the new verification features, one should consider several other factors to avoid purchasing fake Kingpen cartridges. First and foremost, Loudpack is a licensed California company, and under authorization only sells its products via state-licensed distributors and dispensaries. Any Kingpen cartridges purchased on the street or outside of California are probably counterfeits of unknown provenance.
At least one victim of the ‘vape lung’ illnesses has told authorities that they had obtained THC oil cartridges from a source who said it had come from a licensed California dispensary. However, the purchase limits enforced at dispensaries and the high taxes assessed on retail cannabis make bulk purchases for resale in another market a costly and unlikely proposition. Such claims should be regarded with skepticism. Again, consumers should only buy licensed cannabis products from licensed dispensaries — otherwise you have no way to ensure what you’re buying is legit.
When it comes to purchasing Kingpen carts — or any cannabis vape cartridge — consumers should remember that, ultimately, their safety is in their hands, and they should take steps to ensure that they are buying legitimate products from a licensed and reputable brand.
Above, a counterfeit version of a Kingpen vape cartridge