Tuesday August 25th 2015, at 1:30 pm in the state capital of California, law makers will be voting on bills that could completely alter the vape industry as we know it.
These bills are actually quite simple, they will categorize vaping as a tobacco product.The repercussions of that bill on the other hand are quite far reaching and complex. By placing vapor products under the same category of tobacco, it would mean businesses in the industry would have to abide by the same regulations and rules.
What does that mean?
Well for starters, ANY vape related business would then have to get a tobacco license. Not just shops, but e-liquid companies, and distributors. Getting a tobacco permit itself requires numerous steps, and lots of money in bonds etc.
Some businesses wouldn’t even be eligible for a license, just due to their location based on zoning laws. There would be numerous vape shops who would have to relocate or close because they wouldn’t even be able to retail the products.
It’s also important to note, selling “tobacco products” without a tobacco license carries severe legal consequences if prosecuted.
Speaking of vape shops:
Indoor vaping would be outright banned inside the majority of them. Except for the few that are lucky enough to be in a space eligible to be a “smoking lounge”.
To put it simply, vape shops would have to follow the same guidelines as cigar lounges, or hookah bars. Rules can vary by city, and a majority of cities require you to be in a free standing building with no shared common walls.
These are just a FEW of the implications of this bill passing. Others include:
- Banning the sampling of flavors
- Heavy restrictions on advertising/promotions
- The freedom for law makers to tax heavily (possibly up the 90%)
- Raising the age to buy “tobacco products” to 21
Now to clarify, the special session bills have NOT passed into law yet. The SB bills passed through the first stage to becoming a law, and the August 25th AB6 hearing will be a crucial vote.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Call, phone, fax, letter by carrier pigeon, it doesn`t matter what form of communication you choose. The industry NEEDS your voice to be heard.
CASAA has made the process of messaging local law makers easy with this simple form. We ask that when calling, or messaging you speak respectfully. We understand your outrage, but remember you are representing vapers everywhere and we must put our best foot forward.
Most importantly, to all those who can make the trip: We STRONGLY urge you to show up in person on August 25th in Sacramento, California. The more people that show up the better, and yes, each and every person that shows WILL make a difference on this vote.