These United States?? Interview with CASAA Legislative Director, Alex Clark

(Editor’s Note: this podcast episode has important information for vape consumers and businesses regarding new FDA regulations.)

By Norm Bour

(Vape Radio)

It’s about Freedom. It’s about Choice. “It’s really about standing up for yourself! No one wants to be bullied and there has to be a time when we stand up and punch back.” That quote from Alex Clark, Legislative Coordinator with CASAA, sums it all up.

I had to totally rewrite today’s show since the new deeming regulation unfolded with little notice. The FDA released them May 5, so at least we now know the outcome. No more speculating, no more wondering.

Our first interview is with Alex Clark, legislative director with CASAA. Our topic of conversation was about state’s taking their own initiative and instituting laws in lieu of the FDA. We then lead into the new deeming regulations.

Here’s what else we covered:

  • The fiasco at London VapeJam with Dmitri Agrafiotis, AKA, the Vaping Greek and Phil Busardo getting dissed and not being permitted to speak on stage. More details in my June review in VAPE magazine.
  • Two recent events I attended: NATO & VSE
  • NATO (National Association of Tobacco Outlets) is in their 15th and last year, they decided to call it quits and focus on advocacy, regulations and laws that impede the tobacco industry. Good for them to recognize that and we wish them well.
  • We was HACKED! Apologies for many of you that were unable to get into our VapeMentors site a few weeks ago. We were by my former business partner.
  • I’ll be writing for VAPE magazine about how the wrong business partner can ruin your business. What about you? Have you had any bad experiences with partners? If so I’d like to share your story as well so others can learn.
  • Salt Lake City hosted VSE, Vape Shop Events. It’s jokingly called “Speed Dating for vape professionals” but you get 20 minutes, one on one, buyers and sellers, behind closed doors. It’s a great format and will be reviewed in June’s VAPE magazine.
  • The latest on the Indiana War. Read the April issue of VAPE, as well as one pending in the June copy. At stake may be the entire vape industry in that state which could carry over into others.
  • Coming up in June; VAPE U III: Vape Shop Master Summit. 4 days, 20 hours with some of the most amazing thought leaders in the vape space to educate and empower you. You can sign up soon.
  • What do YOU want to know? We interviewed tens of thousands of vape professionals and asked: What keeps you up at night? What worries you the most? With hundreds of responses we drilled it down to just a few areas and then found the best people in the industry to address them. It’s June 23-26 and it will be FREE.
  • We’ll also offer a webinar series on contract manufacturing, provided by some of the most prominent legal minds in the space. We’re still working on details, but that will be available in Q2 as well.
  • Is it worth creating your own juice or should you have a co-packer do it? I have my thoughts and reached my conclusions, but how about you??

Happy anniversary to Vape radio, as we celebrate two years, so let’s carry on with #76, and with our interview with Alex Clark.

What you’ll hear today:

  • What is CASAA and what do they do?
  • What states have been more aggressive with vaping laws? Listen and learn
  • Indiana laws could reduce the number of vape shops in the state from 400 to a single digit number
  • Arkansas laws also affect retail shops inventory options
  • Georgia proposed a law similar to Indiana, but it did not pass
  • Many states follow “clip & paste” techniques with proposed regulations to copy each other
  • What is “advocacy” and why should you care?
  • It could be as simple as a phone call or a “click here” e-mail
  • A “call to action” offers information on local issues
  • Politicians WANT to hear from their voters… well, they’re obligated anyway…
  • Subject change: the new deeming regulations
  • The regulations are 499 pages with some absurd points
  • They get published May 10 and they take “effect” 90 days later
  • New products should be “on the market” within that 90-day window to avoid more restrictions

Talking points & takeaways:

  • Indiana has created a “theme” or a precedence which may indicate the direction of other states.
  • Could they set a very bad “follow the leader” mentality?
  • Advocacy=survival. Period
  • Vape continues to be attacked from local, state and federal levels
  • Get involved; we have the numbers!
  • If you call your politicians, be polite, be concise
  • Is the sky falling? Well Alex has his view while I have mine…
  • The Regs may be “worse” than expected…And the FDA claims they are saving the children!
  • The FDA role out will be slow and take place over years. No one will be knocking on your door shutting you down
  • The “Is vaping tobacco?” question may go to the Supreme Court
  • There may be unexpected backlashes including Black Market growth and public outcry
  • Web site:,, phone number is on CASAA web site
  • 42 million smokers may be locked out of the vaping option
  • Support house bill HR 2058 by calling or local and state politicians. This would change the predicate date: for information

Do you have a topic you’d like to hear or do you have something to share? Someone you’d like us to speak with? Send us a note to


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