COVID-19 Relief Legislation has passed, bringing much needed support and relief to Americans and businesses everywhere, or is it? While helping others, this piece of legislation also is targeting others, and unfortunately the vape industry is in its crosshairs.
This time on the DC Alchemy blog, we’re taking a look at something that is sweeping across the industry at the moment – we always want to keep our audience and customers as informed and educated about, well, everything as we can. So today that means looking at some recent legislation that is putting a hurdle on our industry – don’t worry! We’re not going anywhere! It’s just a hurdle, not a end, but it will take a little bit of time, ingenuity, and effort to overcome it. Here is what we are talking about!
Anti-Vaping Rider in the COVID-19 Relief Legislation
The recent COVID-19 relief package, known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021,’’ had a rider put in it that is specifically targeted at hitting the vape industry. Buried deep in the almost 5,600 page plan (on page, 5,136 to be exact) is TITLE VI: PREVENTING ONLINE SALES OF E-CIGARETTES TO CHILDREN.
First, What is a Rider?
A rider is when an additional provision has little connection to the subject matter of a bill, is then added to it while it is under consideration for a vote. There are a few things like this in government, pork barrelling, logrolling are some other examples where the parties voting on a bill, add in or include measures not directly related to the subject at hand as a way of furthering other agendas.
What Does TITLE VI Do?
Title VI expands an already existing act, the Jenkins Act, to include e-cigarette products, subjecting vape sellers to more compliance reporting, as well as limiting our options to ship.
The Jenkins Act
The Jenkins Act, or PACT Act, has two key components: registration & reporting, and compliance involving delivery sales requirements for consumer sales. Included in the act is a prohibition on mailing tobacco through the USPS service.
Title VI then adds in e-cigarettes and their components to the list of items targetted by the Jenkins Act. Now, vape businesses will need to file monthly reports to local and state governments disclosing all info on customer orders, including name, address, the orders, and taxes owed. The bigger piece? Vape sellers won’t be able to mail products through the USPS any longer.
This is huge.
As we all learned last year, the United States Postal Service is a crucial service that millions of Americans rely on. Cutting off an industry from it has some pretty substantial effects on whether or not that business is going to be able to make it.
Thankfully, at the moment, there are a number of other shipping services out there. But they cost more to use, and have different regulations of their own. This means the entire shipping process is going to have to change to stay compliant with the new legislation, but also be merged into the existing business in a way that doesn’t deliver subpar shipping speeds, service, or drive up costs.
It’s not the end of the world. But is a hurdle, and it’s a hurdle that we are facing today.
If you want to read the bill for yourself you can find it here. The relevant portion begins on page 5,136.
We’re working hard on this and we’re certain we will find a solution soon. Thank you for sticking with us in this turbulent time. We’ll make it through together!