Tuesday April 12th from 1pm to 3pm, vape shop owners (specialty retailers of electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers) and e-liquid manufacturers from around the state will gather at the Statehouse. These small business owners will be calling on Governor Mike Pence to step-in and stop recently enacted regulations from closing their businesses.
In July of 2016, portions of House Enrolled Act 1432, as passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2015, will go into effect. The recently enacted law states that in absence of regulation by the FDA, the Indiana legislature would craft a national industry wide set of regulations for eliquid industry.
The law currently requires eliquid manufactures to enter into an expensive 5 year service agreement with a “qualified” security firm. It was said many times, during the previous legislative sessions, that the security requirements were nothing more than an ‘ADT style security system’. The problem is that representatives from ADT, and other major security companies such as Koorsen Fire and Security, Siemens, and Vivint Security, have stated that they cannot meet the unnecessary additional certification requirements to be considered a “qualified” security firm.
In fact, under the changes made in the last legislative session, only one security company, in the entire country, would be “qualified” to provide the required services for a licensed eliquid manufacturing. It will give that company a monopoly over security services and ultimately will let them decided who can and cannot make or sell eliquid in Indiana. A single well connected company shouldn’t be able to pick the winners and losers in this industry. That’s not a free market policy and not a Hoosier value.
One other major issue with the law is that it states that no new permits can be issued to eliquid manufactures after June 30th, 2016. That means if a company, anywhere in the world, doesn’t have a permit issued by the state by that deadline they will never be able to do business in Indiana. Their products will be considered contraband and you would be committing a crime just by possessing it in Indiana.
The permit applications where not made available by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission until January 29th of this year and the application still contains significant errors and contradictory requirements. Coupled with the fact that no security firm in the country could be compliant until March 24th of this year, there is clearly a need for this timetable to be extended or put on hold.
If the Governor doesn’t act immediately nearly 200 small Hoosier businesses will be put in jeopardy. If they are forced to close their doors, nearly 2,000 Hoosiers will lose their jobs. The state will lose a $100 million a year industry. And nearly 165,000 ex-smokers will either turn back to deadly cigarettes or look to a dangerous and unregulated black market.