Multi-Platinum, Los Angeles rock band 311, announced the launch of their disposable vape pen – the Grassroots Uplifter™ on Tuesday. It’s a product the band has designed from scratch. Physically, the vape pen is stainless steel, requires no recharging and no refilling. It’s described as easy, discreet and convenient to use as no cartridges or USB chargers are needed. The backtrack in the launch video is a brand new 311 song entitled “Island Sun,” which was debuted at 311 Day last month.
The vape pen is something the 311 camp has had in the works for nearly two years. Shortly after the announcement, 311 frontman, Nick Hexum, explained to Alternative Nation the intent behind the band launching this product. “About three years ago it occurred to me that vaping concentrates is really the best way to use cannabis. I went out and bought various vape pens on the market and decided there was a lot of room for improvement. Generally, people are using e-cigarettes that were designed for nicotine which requires dilution. It was fun to design something from scratch that worked perfectly with pure CO2 oil. That was another part of our process in determining that pure CO2 oil is definitely the most health-conscious and best tasting concentrate to use.”
As you can imagine, there was a thorough and intense research and development process for the band to complete. “First it was taking the existing models apart and understanding how they work and finding ways to improve. Then we went through three or four prototypes until we settled on the current design. Then it was beta testing for the past 9 months. Fortunately, my bandmates were more than happy to test and give feedback,” said Hexum.
Uplifter Innovations, along with 311, designed and produces the unique Grassroots Uplifter™ personal vaporizer, and does not produce or sell cannabis in any form. The Uplifter™ is designed and intended for vaporization of e-liquids only in a manner consistent with all applicable laws. So what makes it different from what’s already on the market? “The burner, the wick, the tank, the look, it’s all unique to our product,” Hexum says.
The Uplifter™ will be available soon in Colorado and other states in compliance with all applicable laws. At this time, the Uplifter™ is only available wholesale to vape and smoke shops and others who are able to legally distribute vaporizers. Direct retail sales of the Uplifter™ hardware and other great products from 311 and Uplifter Innovations are in the works and coming soon. As far as 311 fans expecting the vape pen to be sold at future 311 shows, Hexum says, “As the legal climate evolves, I definitely see that happening. I mean, it’s safer than beer so why the hell not?!”
Still after 25 years as a band, 311 continues to innovate and build the renowned overall 311 experience. They just completed an epic 311 Day and have their annual Summer Unity Tour on tap. Speaking of on tap, the band also has their own beer, Amber Ale, which they were also heavily involved with, crafting the recipe in partnership with Rock Brothers Brewing. 311 Amber Ale was recently available at the Smoothie King Center during the 311 Day shows (where it completely sold out) and should be going to cans this summer. It’s currently in select markets for draft and that will grow too over this year. “By late summer of 2016, 311 Amber Ale will be launching in cans in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska and Southern California. Some additional Midwest states will also be included, but are not final at this time. Mail order shipping to all states where legally permitted will also be available this summer,” says Rock Brother Brewing Owner, Kevin Lilly.
Check out the video below to hear 311’s new song, “Island Sun”
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