Vaporizing pot pens used to inhale hash, cannabis oil without the detectable smell of marijuana

Without odor, pens are hard for police to spot

DENVER - Marijuana vaporizing pens are growing in popularity and although it is against Denver ordinance to smoke pot in public, police have difficulty identifying the odorless products.

"Obviously it's less offensive to people, but it is still an offense, or against the ordinance of the City and County of Denver to consume it in public," explained Denver Police Spokesman, Sonny Jackson.

Known as "vape pens," the devices are similar to an e-cigarette but instead of nicotine, users inhale cannabis or hash oil. Denver Police aren't actively seeking out pot violators, but said they have spotted and cited vape pen users for consuming marijuana in public. The violation is a civil penalty that comes with a fine.

7NEWS has learned a total of 80 citations have been issued in Denver for pot use in public since January 1, but those records do not include how the marijuana was consumed.

Todd Mitchem is the Chief Revenue Officer at O.penVAPE. The company, based in Denver, is one of the largest producers of oil vaporizing pens. Right now, O.penVAPE products are sold in Colorado, Washington and California, with plans to expand as other states pass marijuana friendly legislation.

"There's a convenience aspect of it, unlike other products, O.PenVAPE itself is inherently friendly to the customer, it's not messy, it's easy to utilize," explained Mitchem.

Mitchem told us while his product is discreet; it was not designed to be used in public.

"Whether they can hide something or not, they just shouldn't be doing it, it's against the law," said Mitchem.

7NEWS Investigative Reporter Amanda Kost asked Denver Police:

"How can an officer can tell if someone's actually consuming marijuana out of a vape pen?"

"It's not as offensive so you may not be notified, you may not get the complaint that someone says hey this guy is -- smoking marijuana and we may not get the compliant so that may not have to take action on that as easily or as quickly," explained Jackson.

Meanwhile, the business of smokeless bud products is booming. In fact, 7NEWS had to visit three local recreational marijuana shops to find one.

"In 2013 we grew by 1,600 percent verses when we started 2012 and this year we're already up by about 600 percent," explained Mitchem.

He explained that his company uses a specialized machine to safely extract the oil, unlike those who try to make hash oil at home using dangerous methods. As recently as Sunday the manufacture of hash oil was suspected as the cause of an explosion at a Denver duplex.

"A supercritical CO2 extraction machine is incredibly expensive, you're looking anywhere from $150 to $300,000 and up so, um, I'm certain it's not something just you and I are going to go purchase and put in our garage," he said.

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