EPISODE #35 Understanding The US Vaping Crisis with Tim Phillips - Managing Director at CBD Intel


What's going on with vaping in the US?

This week we welcome Tim Phillips to the show, Managing Director at CBD Intel, a market intelligence business operating within the CBD sector. Tim is an excellent source of knowledge - shedding light on the vaping ‘crisis’ within the US and its effect on the CBD and wider cannabis sectors.

Episode Summary

  • More than 1,000 cases of a mysterious vaping-related illness, and 18 related deaths, have been reported in the United States, prompting Congressional hearings, emergency bans, and plummeting stock prices.

  • Over 20 deaths have been directly related to a vaping product.

  • More than a third of those affected are under the age of 21, but those that have died have been older adults who apparently had more difficulty recovering.
    The vaping products in question point to illicit THC and ‘street’ products.

  • Of 578 patients, about 78% reported vaping THC products and 58% reported vaping nicotine. Many vaped both.

  • CBD Intel has been tracking the vaping industry globally for over 6 years and have seen that the crisis has caused the market to crash.

  • In the US, the FDA issued a public warning to stop using THC vaping products and banned flavoured vapes which have been linked to usage by children.

  • No cause has been identified yet as it is hard to identify the products which have been used. This is because people are not willing to admit to having used illicit products.

  • Due to the newness of the nicotine and cannabis vaping industries, consumers have taken a skeptical view towards the crisis.

  • The nicotine vaping industry in the US is not as tightly regulated as it is in the UK and will be more tightly regulated from May 2020.

  • Due to the federal prohibition of Cannabis in the USA, cannabis vapes have not traditionally been subject to the rigorous testing standards which are associated with nicotine vapes.

  • Tim suggests that the nicotine vaping industry is ahead of the cannabis vaping sector by around 10 years.

  • Most of the companies in the nicotine vaping space who have publicly listed shares are tobacco companies, whose share prices have gone up as a result.

  • Tim trained as a lawyer and worked across media companies in this profession. He worked for a gambilng company as a lawyer and Head of Public Affairs where he often spoke to governments about how to regulate online gambling. Tim draws many parallels between this job and the nicotine/cbd industries who both share complicated regulatory issues.

  • CBD Intel provide an independent objective view on where the regulations are going within the CBD market and how the markets are developing as a result. 


  • There’s a lot the cannabis sector can learn from [the US vaping crisis] in terms of mamaging crisis and looking ahead to see what’s coming down the track’ 04:40

  • Legislation is only successful if you get most people to comply. 12:50

  • The CBD sector is growing in a very similar way to [vaping market] 22:07

  • [In the CBD Industry] there are thousands of different brands and lots of people jumping in to make a quick buck 22:30