On September 24, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency, and Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel ordered the sale or display of vaping products in retail establishments, online, or through other means, to be prohibited in the Commonwealth. The moratorium “takes effect immediately and shall remain in effect, unless extended with the approval of the Governor and the Public Health Council, through January 25, 2020, or until the declared public health emergency is terminated, or the Order is otherwise rescinded by [the Commissioner], whichever happens first.”
Continue Reading Massachusetts Orders Four-Month Moratorium on Vaping Products

California recently issued a Special Notice, which changes how the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will apply the OTP excise tax to the wholesaler’s cost basis when an out-of-state California licensed tobacco products distributor sells tobacco products to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers located in California. 
Continue Reading California Issues New Rule Raising Cost Base of Other Tobacco Products for Shipments by Out-of-State Distributors

Today, the Trump Administration announced that it is instructing the Food and Drug Administration to “finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.” 
Continue Reading Trump Administration Instructs FDA to “Clear Market” of Flavored ENDS Products (including Menthol and Mint)

In a press release dated September 3, 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her administration would be introducing emergency rules to ban the sale of “flavored vaping products” in retail stores and online, and ban “misleading” marketing of vaping products, including the use of terms like “clean,” “safe,” and “healthy.”
Continue Reading Michigan Moves to Crack Down on the Sale and Advertising of Vapor Products

Last Thursday, July 18, 2019, Mark Herring, Virginia’s Attorney General, called again for marijuana regulatory reform in light of new data showing arrests rose in the Commonwealth last year. The Attorney General noted that in 2018 marijuana arrests accounted for 59 percent of all drug arrests in Virginia.  Herring favors the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, action to address past convictions for simple possession and a move towards legal and regulated adult use in Virginia.  The Attorney General’s press release was followed the next day by a tweet from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also urging the decriminalization of marijuana.
Continue Reading VIRGINIA’S GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL REITERATE CALL FOR MARIJUANA REFORM AS ARRESTS CONTINUE TO RISE

On July 11, a federal judge issued an important ruling that dramatically advances submission deadlines for premarket review of tobacco products.  As a function of that ruling, the deadline for applications for FDA premarket review of “deemed” tobacco products (including cigars, pipe tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)) is now May 11, 2020.
Continue Reading Court Ruling Advances FDA Premarket Review Deadline for Deemed Tobacco Products

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently announced that he, along with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), have filed a new, bipartisan bill in Congress to raise the nationwide legal age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21. The bill, currently titled the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act,” would require all states to pass laws raising the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other tobacco products to 21. The bill would compel each state to pass individual laws or risk losing substance abuse prevention and treatment funding.
Continue Reading Bill Introduced to Raise the Nationwide Minimum Legal Age for Tobacco Product Sales

House Energy and Commerce Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) recently introduced H.R. 2339, a comprehensive bill seeking to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the sale and marketing of tobacco products. The legislation, currently titled the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, is a broad bill that covers many of the legislative movements and trends seen in recent years concerning the sale and marketing of tobacco products. This bill reflects an attempt to combine the various issues into one comprehensive piece of legislation ostensibly intended to limit youth tobacco access.
Continue Reading “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019” Introduced in Congress

A bill, H.R.7337 – the Stop Tobacco Sales to Youth Act of 2018, was introduced in Congress recently to amend the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (“PACT”) Act to include electronic cigarettes and pipe tobacco. The PACT Act currently requires Internet sellers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to pay applicable excise and sales taxes as if the sale were a face-to-face transaction, prohibits using U.S. Mail for these sales, and requires age verification.
Continue Reading Bill to Restrict Internet Sales of E-Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Introduced in Congress

Louisiana has redefined “vapor products” to include nicotine and non-nicotine products. The law became effective on May 30, 2018 when Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB239.

The definitional change applies to laws banning sales to minors, requiring retail permitting and prohibiting self-service displays and vending machines except under limited circumstances.
Continue Reading Louisiana Broadens Vapor Laws’ Reach to Include Non-Nicotine Products