Your boss won’t know you’re a pothead! - Macleans.ca
 

Your boss won’t know you’re a pothead!

A portable herb vaporizer that offers ‘smokeless freedom’ is flying off the shelves


 

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW TOLSON

“It’s a no-brainer,” deadpanned Robin Ellins, owner of Friendly Stranger, a cannabis culture shop in Toronto. Ellins was referring to the runaway success of the Iolite portable herb vaporizer. It’s the hottest new drug paraphernalia to hit the market since . . . since . . . nobody can remember.

Stoners are smitten by this handy little unit that resembles a walkie-talkie. “It’s actually manufactured in Ireland as an aromatherapy device,” clarified Manitoba-based Robert Ritchot, a Canadian distributor of the device. Sure, Robert, whatever your lawyers say.

Iolite’s slogan explains its popularity: “Smokeless freedom.” No cords. No batteries. It runs on butane canisters (around $5 each) and retails for approximately $200 to $300 (less than half the price of the cumbersome plug-in models found in basements across Canada). How does it work? A small amount of your preferred herb is vaporized and accessed through a tube, just like a sippy cup. If this is hard to imagine, watch one of the countless demonstrations on YouTube. Owners explain how it uses less weed and provides a “cleaner” high while vaporizing nearly all of the active ingredients.

“My wife no longer banishes me to the man cave at the back of the house,” said Toronto resident “Doug,” a director of business development in the auto industry. “I can even smoke up in front of my mom because there’s no smoke!” Doug is a parent, just like “Sarah,” an ethics professor spending the summer at her cottage in Muskoka. “It’s guilt-free, with the baby,” she said, concerned that her university colleagues would read this article. “Where I teach, pot is taboo and I’d be fired if they knew.”

The kind of people who need the discretion offered by a smoke-free vaporizer are not interested in being quoted in national magazines. “We get everyone from cops to pilots buying the portables,” said Dominic Jean, the distribution manager for retailer High Times, headquartered in Laval, Que. At Shakedown Street head shop in Kitchener, Ont., they sell portable vaporizers to “businessmen hiding it from their wives” and “outdoorsy people.” Across the country, professors and students are cited as frequent buyers, as are “closet stoners” and patients with chronic pain.

At the Toronto Hemp Co., staff took the portable vaporizer outside to see how people reacted. “It was a dream come true. We went to the movie, to the mall and the subway,” said assistant manager Corey Williams. “Nobody knew.”

It’s all news to commandant Marc St-Cyr, chief of the Montreal police force’s district 20. “It’s the first I’ve heard of it. We haven’t seized one of these devices yet,” he said. “But I’m not overly worried. If people are passing around a walkie-talkie, sipping on it, in a small group of friends, we’ll notice.”
Now you’ll notice. Sorry, everyone. Kevin, a sales executive in Toronto, owns two vaporizers—an old table model with a cord and a new portable he calls his hand-held. “I use it in the car, mostly, and around our pregnant friend,” said Kevin, who bought a knock-off unit for $75 on Yonge Street six months ago.

Along with knock-offs come more serious competitors. Now, Iolite must share the spotlight with a new, battery-operated vaporizer from Air-2 called NO2, which debuts this weekend at the first Medical Marijuana and Hemp Expo (July 16-18) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Attendees with a federal exemption card can test the NO2 and the Iolite at the vapour lounge. (Seriously, you need the card.)

Not everyone wants one of these high-tech travellers. Purists like Montrealer Martin Labbé says the portable units don’t let him properly “taste” his medical marijuana. Meanwhile, recording artist Errol Blackwood says the portables rob him of the religious ritual. “As a Rasta, it’s part of the sacrament to roll a big joint and rub the smoke on your face,” says Blackwood, who will perform his song Holy Smokes at the expo. Marco Renda prefers his plug-in model. “The Volcano is still the Ferrari of vaporizers,” said Renda, the publisher of Treating Yourself marijuana magazine and co-founder of the expo. “I don’t like butane. It’s a gas. I’m old school.”


 

Your boss won’t know you’re a pothead!

  1. I just got one of these, they're sick! I just walked through Macy's in Midtown Manhattan using the whole time! It's a dream!

  2. Best thing for wedding and family gatherings. also really good when friends have kids around I don't have to feel like a criminal and worry about the smell. And the warranty who thought that toking devices could have a warranty, 2 years from authorized dealers.

  3. Why not work freelance if you are so worried about your boss discovering this habit? It seems like a waste of 200 dollars to me, but I personally never understood the allure of pot or smoking anyway. I like to spend my money on food and good books.

    • well then why comment on it?? people live different lives and have different likes & dislikes so why be a hater on something that somebody else is passionate about?? ignorant people will be the end of the world

      • Well I happen to be very intelligent and not ignorant. Being ignorant is when people such as yourself try to upsurp freedom of speech, and did I keep you from commenting no. You are the one who is being silly about this.

      • By the way putting down someone's screen name is childish, and calling names is childish too. Would you act this way in public if you friend disagreed with you about something? Look I do not care what you spend your money on or how you live your life, I simply think spending 200 dollars on anything that is non-essential is a folly in this poor economy. Sad that people such as yourself disparage and put down. I am too mature for those antics.

        • just an outside observer here, but if you are commenting on something you haven’t tried, then you are by definition “ignorant” on the topic. 

    • your ignornt as hell lady just cause your not into something "it seems like a waste of 200 dollars to me" to me its definately 1 of the best things I've ever bought. I also enjoy buying food, paying my bills, insuring my truck, buying gas to drive not books cause they are dumb as hell how many times have you got your hair done bought shoes you wore 1 time how much on hair care products and tools straightners and other dumb shityou should get a live and let others live thiers how they want to

    • your ignornt lady just cause your not into something "it seems like a waste of 200 dollars to me" to me its definately 1 of the best things I've ever bought. I also enjoy buying food, paying my bills, insuring my truck, buying gas to drive not books cause they are dumb as hell how many times have you got your hair done bought shoes you wore 1 time how much on hair care products and tools straightners and other dumb shityou should get a live and let others live thiers how they want to

    • soooo wrong lady i buy food and pay my bills too books are a watse of time

      • Weee,

        Stop trying to take people's freedom of speech away, and when did I ever say you did not pay your bills? I see you cannot handle someone having a different opinion than you. I was simply commenting on how this device is a waste of money, in my opinion. Maybe I am passionate about feeling people spend their money on things that are a bit overpriced, and it seems to be, even if you like it.

        • how much money have spent on "good books?" that sure doesnt sound like a essential thing to me thats more of entertainment thing to me.whats that saying "you have to spend money to make money"? spendind 200 dollars on something so i spend less money somewhere else seems rather smart to me in this "poor economy" I like buying stuff when its cheaper, a waste of money would be buying my tv for $900-1000 instead of $450 like i did and you can have ur opinion like i can and using ur logic baby moniters are a waste of time cause i dont have kids ands they dont interest me thats a fair statement right

          • So you think you can insult people and call me a baby now? I do not have kids, and the money I spent on books is for my education and reading pleasure. That is an investment in my knowledge and life, and there is no denigrating that. Reading is powerful knowledge and teaches you a myriad of things. Anyone that disparages books should think twice, especially since we all used books to learn how to read and write as children. By the way I check most of my books out at the library now anyway, especially when I learned I could save more money.

          • the iolite vaporizer was the best buy to save money on pot simpliest answer that can be made

          • Maybe if you bought a book instead of weed you'd know how to spell, weeeee

          • i know how to spell u fake ass doctor its wee so hard its meant to be drawn out but a "doctor" wouldnt understand that would he? must be to busy touching his male paitents to figure something a 26 year old with a brain injury who relearned everything again at the age of 24 can realize this?? i also graduated while smoking weed since 13

          • No you don't; the contraction of "you are" is "you're".

            I'd rather be a fake-ass doctor than a dumb-ass stoner. Evidently you didn't re-learn everything… you missed spelling and manners.

          • a dumb ass stoner is still alot better then a goof ass fake, and its doubtful you're nice to every single person you've ever met, why dont you just go back to using GHB on little boys and i know numerous people in thier 50's without a grade 7 education who are alot dumber then me someone who graduated while smoking weed where as those people dont and you're probably just like them

          • I know people reaching retirement age who own 2 houses, a brand new vehicle, have had a successful life( kids,marriage,good job with benifits) weed is such a horrible thing, they should just legalize it and eliminate sooo many problems by doing so the liberals were interested, the conservatives squashed it because they're stupid and more interested in making new taxes instead of relief from millions of dollars of revenue they can make

  4. You know, there's probably a lot of heavy cigarette smokers out there who would like this tool for those smokes as well – at work, anywhere.

    • Vaporization is not intended for use with tobacco so that would not be a good idea!

      • That is not true at all. Pure tobacco without all the processed chemicals in cigarette tobacco can be used and it will have 6x more nicotine delivery compared to smoking it.

  5. The above picture is one of our staff members pulling an Iolite out of her pocket! We love the product and the benefits of using a vaporizer.

    The article was very good, however it doesn't matter how much explaining you do to the media, you can't get them to use the term "Herbal Accessory" when it comes to Cannabis.

  6. Once again they chose to use the police given phrase of "Drug Paraphernalia". We do not sell, nor support the sale of, Drug Paraphernalia. We have spent 16 years shaking the term Head Shop and replacing it with Hemp Shop, or in our case, Cannabis Culture Shop. The differences are many, but the main difference is the focus on a single Plant. The other, less obvious, difference is the plethora of products We Don't Sell.

    No matter, those in the know understand the nuances. Those who still think Cannabis is a dangerous drug still have a lot to learn. We had hoped that a magazine as well versed in Canadian Cannabis Culture as Maclean's would know that to use the term Drug Paraphernalia dates the publication and it's mindset all the way back to the 70's. Haven't we learned anything yet?

    • Pot's not a drug huh? Sure gets me right stoned. Thankfully I know enough not to try to function, i.e. drive, go to work, babysit…

      Weed affects people so differently from person to person. Sadly I have known a few lightweights like myself that don't realize pot's not for them. They see their chronic friends holding down jobs and driving cars and assume they can too. In their dumbass hands, it's definitely a powerful drug and definitely dangerous. And ruining their lives.

      Sure, cannabis has advantages over booze… less addictive, causes less violence etc., but to pretend it's not a drug that carries some risk to many users is irresponsible.

      • do u get asprin from the ground ? do you write prescriptions cause those are drugs again not naturally out of the ground when grown and flushed properly contains no chemicals hard core drug there sir

        • hate to be a douche, but Aspirin is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid straight up comes from the bark of a willow tree

      • Not saying that Cannabis is not a drug. Just that we have spent 16 years trying to shake the taboo associated with "Drug Paraphernalia". "Herbal Accessory" helps to enlighten people that are not Cannabis Consumers to the fact that we are dealing with a Plant. It is Not some powdered, processed, synthesized, man manufactured substance that's popped, snorted, or injected. Cannabis is still grouped in the same category as cocaine, heroin, lsd and crystal meth yet it causes far far less harm than the legal and mass consumed drugs – Alcohol, Tobacco, and Caffeine.

      • As to the risk associated with cannabis. It is a medicine for many people, with positive side effects (sense of well being, appetite stimulant). It is non-toxic and has never killed anyone. There is far more harm caused by it's prohibition than it's use. Cannabis is consumed daily by millions upon millions of people. If it caused any harm, we would be counting the bodies – the same way we do for Alcohol or Tobacco.

        Although, I would have to agree that it's not for everyone – you can't blame the substance for some individual's inability to determine what they should or should not be doing. It is not chemically addictive. It may be habit forming for some, but they can go without whenever they wish. Try going without coffee for a couple of days if you drink it regularly – that will show you what chemical addiction is all about.

  7. Nowhere in the article did they take the time to explain the benefits of using a vaporizer over smoking. Rest assured, we took the time to explain it to them in our interview.

    Last, but not least, my quote was used out of context. "It's a No-Brainer" was used in reference to the health benefits of vaporizing over smoking. Something the article managed to completely overlook.

  8. How does vaporizing compare health wise to smoking ?

    Vaporization takes place at temperatures below pyrolysis (combustion) with twice as many active constituents delivered to the user than one would get from smoking.

    Since there is no combustion, the associated toxins, carcinogenic material, tar and carbon dioxide are not present in the vapor.

    You consume far less herb and receive far more of it's active ingredients. Hence the "NO Brainer" quote!

    • willie nelson on larry king live stated how he uses a vaporizer as it was far healthier for him and his singing it wasnt as harsh on his throat the doctor recommened way to smoke your herbs everyone should own one of these wether its the iolite a volcano spend the money get a good item or its just going to be a waste of your money

  9. the iolite is one of my best buys ever along with paying my bills and buying my munchies what smoker doesnt enjoy food also to think otherwise is probably ignorant

  10. Give me a break. Is this a throw-back to when nifty little alcohol flasks were initially marketed? BTW — nice comment by Kevin, that he even uses it in the car — guess it's easier to hide the smell from smoking up pre-car accident, than having booze on your breath after taking a swig from a flask. Thanks for helping to make our roads a safer place.

    • people act like weed just completely ruins your ability to function fuck its weed it keeps me level headed and prevents me from reacting to situations negatively. people who do coke,crack,meth,alcoholics those are people on the roads you should worry about, those things are more likely to cause you to speed swerve trip out alot more then weed to say others wise is misinformed. you can overdose on any of those drugs as well as some others theres alcohol poisoning you can not overdose on weed

    • u can not overdose on weed try things like crack,meth,alcohol things that make u more brave not calmer

      • you can't overdose on weed in a physically harmful way, but you can certainly smoke enough to impair your driving. the guy you replied to didn't even say overdose.

        • wow u can take to many prescribed pain pills 1 tylenol 3 can impair your judgement, having something stressful happen to you during the day can distracting you too much hence impairing your judgement in 13 years of smoking pot i have never encountered a single person who could not function normally after smoking a joint, people can function just fine after smoking budder which is the most potent way you can smoke THC its only like 99.whatever % how often do you read in vehicle crash report " speed and alcohol are believed to be a factor" I certainly dont recall reading 1 article say weed and speed are believed to be factors in the crash. i know ive been in alot more close calls involve seniors driving rather then potheads 5-0 seniors

          • I have to commend your absolutely impeccable spelling and grammar. Surely weed doesn't impair that either.

            To be serious, though, there's a 2006 Health Canada report on the subject of driving under the influence of cannabis: http://www.decp.org/experts/CanadianCannabisStudy.pdf

            And I quote the relevant paragraphs from the introduction:

            "Performance deficits have been found in tracking, reaction times, visual function and divided attention. Studies of driving performance (both simulated and on-road) show increased variability in lateral position in the lane, headway gap, and speed a a function of cannabis use. Cannabis also impaired performance on divided attention tasks and compromised drivers' ability to handle unexpected events.

            "Although the weight of evidence clearly reveals significant psychomotor impairment as a result of cannabis use, it has been suggested that experienced users may be aware of their state of intoxication and impairment and may attempt to compensate for it by employing behavioural strategies such as slowing down, increasing headway, and reducing risk-taking behaviours (Smiley, 1986). These tactics, however, may not be sufficient to compensate for all the effects of cannabis, particularly at higher doses."

            So, my original point stands. The fact that weed has a high enough toxicity threshold that it's physically unobtainable through the usual methods of ingestion is a different matter entirely from whether or not it can have adverse affects on your driving.

  11. the iolite vaporizer is a great product, you get more from a little less the a joints worth of weed with no headaches burn outs tastes better make a smaller amount last longer great item and great article

  12. Fact is you are all breaking the law and you justify it by saying " its not drug parafinalia" what asses you are. It wouldnt be a no brainer if it wasnt!

    • No Jim, it is the law that is an ass!

    • you're dumb jim weed should be legal 1st of all 2ndly theres places in canada where they give out free needles or crack pipes how is that any better? sorry cant say ive ever robbed my dying gramma just to go buy a joint yet have heard countless stories of hard drug users doing this to any of their family members, their own childs piggy banks never heard of any stoner doing that perhaps you should pull your head out of your ass it's 2010

  13. I am OK with pot use under certain circumstances. Those are:

    Not while you are caring for children
    Not before or while driving
    Consumed in a way other than smoking (vaporiser, eating, drinking it)

    Because so many people still think it's OK to drive stoned, pot use can't be legalised as there is no simple roadside test to determine if a person has been using marijuana.

  14. I wonder if there'll be a 'pollution tax' and/or a 'you're going to smoke with this thing so we're going to charge you a tobacco-level tax' added to the purchase price of the vapourisor.

    If so, try eBay… customs usually don't check small packages like the one that this article will need – as long as it's shipped via USPS (from the States) or the normal postal services from other countries.

  15. The little known magic-flight.com LaunchBox is a much better performing portable vaporizer. It runs on one rechargeable NiMH battery, has no smell, is 1/4 the size of an iolite, takes only 5 seconds to reach vaporization temps. and makes no noise at all.
    The iolite has big time reliability issues; mouth pieces melt and break on only a single use!, screens are very difficult to clean, takes 8 minutes to reach a useable vaporization temperature, ignitor malfunctions causing unit not to ignite, it is inefficient, makes a loud hissing sound during use and after it is shut off and has a single set temperature.
    The LaunchBox also costs 50% less and comes with a LIFETIME functional warranty.

  16. What's with the baby boomer style condescension in this article? Was Joanne Latimer born in the 40's?

  17. ahhh haaaaaaaa

  18. I just read this and ordered mine from torontovaporizer.ca……Can’t wait to get it!