Legalized marijuana continues to pick up steam in the US, with 66% of Americans now in favor of decriminalization, per Gallup. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley weed-tech startups are positioning to cash in ahead of a potential flood of new customers. That includes a recent crop of app-enabled smart vaporizers that seek to leverage tech to deliver a better high.
Scroll through for a hands-on look at three of the top options currently on the market from Pax, DaVinci and Firefly.
First up, the DaVinci IQ. At just 3.5 inches tall, it's a stout little smart vape with an attractive metallic build, a built-in LED display and a companion Bluetooth app.
With the IQ, you can vape using customizable preset temperatures called Smart Paths. You'll customize those using a companion app on your phone -- it pairs wirelessly with the IQ via Bluetooth.
The replaceable, rechargeable 18650 (3,500 mAh) battery is good for about 90 minutes of heat, per DaVinci.
After loading in whatever substance you're looking to vaporize, you'll press a button to preheat the IQ, then draw vapor from it via the mouthpiece.
Perhaps the most well known of these high-end, handheld vaporizers is the Pax 3, which was created by the same team that produced Juul electronic cigarettes. It's been around for a few years and is now available for $170.
The LED flower on the Pax 3 serves as a multicolor indicator light. It turns purple when it's preheating, then green when it's ready for you to draw vapor from it.
The newest of these smart vapes is the Firefly 2 Plus, a third-gen model that's currently available for preorder at a price of $250.
Like previous-gen Firefly smart vapes, the 2 Plus comes with a magnetic lid, complete with a little window that lets you see what you're vaporizing as you vaporize it.
The 2 Plus has no power button. When you're ready to use it, you just hold your finger against the touch-sensitive button on either side of the device. The light flashes green for a few seconds as the device heats up to whatever temperature you've set it to in the app, then it turns solid when it's ready for you to take a hit.
When the built-in battery runs low, you recharge the 2 Plus by docking it in a charging cradle.
Here's a look at Firefly's app, which offers temperature controls, a calibration slider for incremental temperature tweaks, and the ability to select which button activates the device -- left, right, either or both at once.
The Pax and DaVinci apps are a bit more fully featured. DaVinci lets you activate a quick hit Boost Mode in addition to those custom Smart Paths, while Pax lets you activate a Stealth Mode that dims the lights and optimizes fast cool-down between draws.