The success of the JUUL vaporizer over the past year has translated to higher profits for parent company Pax Labs, but the demand for the device’s replacement cartridges, which are in short supply, has allowed for high markups at the expense of the customers who frequent the New York smoke shops that sell them.
Throughout the city, a large number of tobacconists have increased the sales price of the cartridges, commonly called “pods”, which contain flavored nicotine and house a heating element that is activated when users of the JUUL take a drag on the mouthpiece.
According to a New York Post survey of smoke shops in the East Village taken just over a week ago, many businesses found selling the four-pack JUUL pods were marking them up by as much as 88 percent. Suggested retail price for a pack of pods is $15.99, but some customers were forced to pay almost double.
Pax Labs is attempting to solve the price gouging crisis by increasing the supply of the pods, rather than targeting those distributors and smoke shops that insist on jacking up their prices, the Post reports.
“We’ve tried to police it, but it’s obviously a game of Whack-A-Mole to some extent,” says Tyler Goldman, Pax Lab’s chief executive.
Pax Labs has doubled monthly production and hopes to produce 5 million JUUL pods by January.
“We want to be in 20,000 NYC smoke shops and bodegas by next year,” Goldman said.
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