During his tenure at the helm of Sunday Goods, Michael Wang led the Arizona-based flower company’s expansion into vapes. But scouring the hardware on the market left him far from satisfied. “Vape hardware manufacturers were not making products that lived up to my, my team’s, or my customers’ expectations,” he said.
After observing three key problems with the existing hardware—burned taste, leakage, and fixed, tight airflow—he puzzled over how the vape category, which generates $9 billion annually, could be powered by hardware that didn’t suit medicinal or recreational purposes. But “that all started to change when I came across Aspire,” he said.
Chinese technology company Aspire has been a global leader in vape hardware production since 2010. Currently Europe’s leading e-cigarette manufacturer, Aspire owns the patents for a large percentage of the core technologies used in modern vaping devices worldwide.
“As I listened to the advantages of their technology and background, I realized this was a company that could develop and produce the right product at scale and inexpensively,” said Wang. His conversations with Aspire quickly resulted in him joining the company to build a subsidiary called Ispire, which is developing a line of products specifically for cannabis oils.
Ispire launched in January 2021 with a line of cartridges called Ducore, delivering on Wang’s goal of creating an affordable, leak-resistant tank with adjustable airflow that doesn’t burn the oil. “This technology is basically the first real innovation in the cannabis vaping space in the past five years,” he said.
The addition of the simple adjustable airflow control allows Ispire to help its customers address a wider set of consumers with the same SKU—without an increase in cost.
“We made it very simple,” Wang said. “Whether you are an experienced user or a new user, you can adjust the airflow to your liking. And the cost of making this product is basically the same as a standard cartridge.”
Wang said the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. “The customers who’ve tried our products say this is the best-tasting device, bar none,” he said. “And because we don’t burn the oil, we make the bioavailability of the cannabis more efficient for consumers. It is truly a medical breakthrough.”
In April, Ispire launched a series of Ducore-based disposable devices. Sales quickly backed up the hype: The company received orders for a remarkable 3 million units during the first twenty days in June. “It went crazy!” Wang said. “We knew our products were superior, but we didn’t expect that kind of response.”
He was quick to add Ispire has boosted production capacity monumentally. The company currently produces up to 6 million units per month.
Wang and his company also have their sights set on the rapidly growing dab market. In May, Ispire launched The Wand, an award-winner that uses battery-powered induction technology to optimize heating and maximize flavor, offering concentrate users precise temperature control for uniform hits every time.
Wang and Ispire are bullish on the dab market, seeing it as an inevitable progression point for cannabis users over time. “Dabbing will command a much bigger share of the overall market five years from now,” he said.
In preparation for that growth, in late October Ispire launched a disruptive all-in-one device called The daab. Wang considers the new product a credible alternative to Puffco’s Peak, one of the current market leaders.
“We’re extremely excited about our all-in-one dab rig,” Wang said. “We have been beta-testing it with people who have been using Puffco as their go-to in the past year. After they tried our dab rig, they said they would never go back.
“We want our technology to be there for cannabis consumers at every stage of their evolution,” said Wang, “from disposable to standard cartridge or battery to the most advanced dabbing devices.”