As we approach the last 4:20 of 4/20/16, we have an important announcement to make. Since the inception of our company a little less than two years ago, our goal has been to promote smarter and healthier alternatives to smoking. While the mission hasn’t changed, the method necessarily must due to gov. Jay Inslee’s recent signing of SB 6328. While this bill contains some new rules which make sense such as warning labels on e-liquids and mandatory child-proof container caps, it also introduces a host of new annual licenses and fees including:
Vapor product Retailers -$175
Vapor product Distributors – $150
Vapor product Delivery Sellers – $250
Tobacco & Other Tobacco Product Retailers – $175
Vapor product Retailer & Tobacco Product or Other Tobacco Product Retailer Combo Fee – $250
On top of existing recurring licensing and permit renewal fees, it adds up to a considerable amount. As progressives we understand the need for taxes and regulations but as a small business we understand better the conservative and libertarian arguments that certain rules are created for the benefit and perpetuation of the bureaucracies creating and enforcing the rules. (At least most liberals and conservatives can agree that big government provides big businesses with unfair advantages over smaller businesses.)
Anyway, our business as it currently exists might not be permissible under current licensing rules depending on the interpretation of ludicrously vague language such as the definition of the term “vapor product” in section 4 #19:
“Vapor product” means any noncombustible product that may contain nicotine and that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, that can be used to produce vapor or aerosol from a solution or other substance.”
A literal interpretation of this definition would require licensing for anyone selling irons, fog machines, electric tea kettles, humidifiers, etc. Any of those “may” contain nicotine, but if the writers of the bill intend to distinguish between devices that do contain nicotine and are designed for it and those that don’t, it’s a different story. We hope to get clarification soon because we happen to sell both vape devices and CBD hemp oil and section 6 #4 of the bill states:
No person engaged in or conducting business as a [vapor product] retailer, distributor, or delivery seller in this state may sell or give, or permit to sell or give, a product that contains any amount of any cannabinoid, synthetic cannabinoid, cathinone, or methcathinone, unless otherwise provided by law.
Previous to the signing of the SB 6328 we had already announced our intended transition away from nicotine e-liquids
. Depending on further information we get regarding the new law we may also decide to cease sales of devices as well in favor of an expanded range of CBD oils and other non-nicotine products. We don’t currently know when the bill will officially go into effect, but according to the final section of the bill it will be thirty days after the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board prescribes the forms for applications for the new licenses. In the meantime, to get a headstart we’ve decided to clear out our stock of nicotine e-liquids and devices specifically for use with e-liquids by having a 50% off sale on those items at http://cascadiavape.net/
In a sense, it’s fitting that on the eve of 420, the governor signed legislation which may effectively force us to let go of the e-cig aspect of the business to focus more on cannabusiness.