Storz & Bickel
If you search the web for information on the topic of vaporizers, you will quickly find the German company Storz & Bickel. Storz & Bickel is one of the absolute pioneers of the scene and was the first certified manufacturer ever to produce medical cannabis inhalers.
But lets start at the beginning: The year is 1996, and Markus Storz, a trained printmaker, enthusiastic tinkerer and non-smoker, happens to read an article in a german Hemp-Journal about how you don't necessarily have to smoke, and thus burn, cannabis and other herbs. Inspired by the Amsterdam-based cannabis pioneer Eagle Bill, who heats the cannabis in a glass pipe with a hot air gun for vaporization, Storz enthusiastically gets to work and after some tinkering, initially develops the Vulcano, a large tabletop vaporizer in which one can inhale directly from a valve balloon filled with steam.
Since Storz is an early believer in the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant, and THC extracts are already being used at this point to relieve pain in people suffering from multiple sclerosis, he conducts early field tests with his vaporizer on a friend who also suffers from MS. It quickly became obvious that MS sufferers sometimes had motor difficulties in operating a vaporizer. Therefore, the idea matured: First vaporize and then inhale. Storz realizes this with the help of a valve balloon. You have to have ideas!
For lack of money and tools, he had the first prototype manufactured at a vocational school in Tuttlingen, which he later thanked with a donation of new computers. Two years had passed in the meantime when Storz applied for a patent for the Vulcano in 1998.
In 2000, Storz brings his long-time buddy Jürgen Bickel, a civil engineer who has just returned from development aid in Peru, on board as an equal partner. In the same year, the Vulcano was ready for the market. From this point on, everything happend very quickly. Science begins to take an interest in the subject of vaporization in medicine and the first research is carried out. Today, 20 years later, the Vulcano is still being sold and enjoys great popularity. Of course, it has been continuously enhanced over the years. In 2014, Storz & Bickel landed the next big coup: The portable vaporizers Mighty and Crafty came onto the market and sales doubled literally overnight. And the first mobile vaporizers are so technically advanced that they hit the market like a bomb. Especially the Mighty can be found in every well-stocked vaporizer assortment today.
The fact that Storz & Bickel have done a good job is also shown by selling of their company in 2018 for a crisp 145 million euros to the Canadian company Canopy Growth, the world's largest cannabis company.