Since the omnibus spending bill passed last year, vape manufacturers and retailers have been dreading the implementation of a new law. Buried on page 5,136 of that massive piece of legislation, was an act known as the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act — known more generally as the “Vape Mail Ban.”
Essentially this law will prevent companies from shipping vapes via USPS — and FedEx and UPS might be following suit. Which some in the industry say, will sink many small businesses that are already struggling to survive under an onslaught of added regulations.
And on Monday, USPS sent out a notice, reminding everyone of the coming changes. Though there are still some exemptions being discussed.
“In legal cannabis markets across the country, the vaping component of our industry drives billions of dollars in revenue and creates thousands of jobs,” says Dana Shoched, the president and CEO, O2VAPE. “By sliding into the back of the stimulus package this law change that misrepresents our vape customers as nicotine addicts and our technology as tobacco driven, it effectively destroys our ability to effectively serve consumers with the safe and responsibly produced equipment we develop.”
The new act modifies the 1949 Jenkins Act, which governs the taxing and trafficking of smokeless and smokable tobacco products. Now, all components and elements of a vaporizer device are to be technically considered (and treated like) a cigarette.
“Basically, the amended PACT Act modifies the original definition of “cigarette” in the PACT Act to include Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS),” says Schoched. “The term ‘ENDS’ is defined very broadly to essentially include all vaping products, liquids, components, and accessories, whether they contain nicotine or not.”
That effectively prevents all nicotine, CBD, hemp vape manufacturers and retailers from mailing their products. And it will prevent patients who use CBD or hemp vaporizers from accessing their medication via mail. Which, Schoched points out, forces them to physically go into a store to get their CBD or hemp vape products — something not everyone is comfortable with these pandemic days.
“Direct-to-consumer shipments of any vape hardware will be banned completely for anyone who prefers to purchase from the privacy of their homes,” Schoched says. “What’s more, the very broad language used in the bill may put a stranglehold on commercial business-to-business shipments, and many products will disappear from store shelves.”
USPS said in their statement released on Monday that they’re still in the process of finalizing some exceptions for certain vapes — including some CBD products. But that’s still in discussion.
Until the rulemaking is finalized, no one will really know how this vape mail ban will affect small businesses across industries and states. But everyone’s pretty much accepted that it’s not going to have be a positive effect.