Recent Legal Changes Affecting CBD Vape Products
The legal status of CBD vape has always been somewhat complicated. Why is that? In large part because, in the eyes of most lawmakers, CBD vapes are no different from traditional tobacco and nicotine vapes. It is because of this egregious error in classification, and poor drafting in the most recent Covid-19 relief bill, that as of late April, CBD vapes can no longer be easily shipped. Past legislation has recognized the difference between nicotine and non-nicotine vapes. This legislation is intentionally broad enough to include both.
Can they still be shipped at all? Yes, but with much more difficulty now. By including vaping products within the recent act, Congress has stipulated that manufacturers and retailers will be banned from shipping vaping products to adult consumers using the USPS within the next 120 days. All orders of vaping products will be required to ship using an alternate, considerably more expensive service that verifies the recipient of a package is at least 21 years old. Furthermore, starting 90 days after enactment, all Internet and mail-order retailers will be required to file voluminous monthly reports with State, Native tribes, and local governments disclosing the identity, address, and product orders of all customer orders to their jurisdiction. We at Green Wellness Life are committed to customer privacy and are not comfortable with this reporting.
Congress explained the inclusion of this in the Coivid-19 bill by using the narrative of protecting children from online vape sales (the title of the original Congress bill containing this text was the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act – also referred to as PACT), despite the fact that it is already illegal under federal law to ship vaping products to minors. And, it is not as if there is a lack of enforcement of the current law; the FDA has regularly cracked down on businesses that sell or have sold to minors through mail. Additionally, while many retailers have been taking advantage of the USPS’ ID delivery confirmation service for years, the bill effectively ends this program.
The PACT Act requires online retailers to collect state/local taxes before shipping orders, register with the federal government, and provide detailed information on a monthly basis to the tax department of each state it ships too – including the names and addresses of each customer. As USPS would be banned from shipping vape products, companies (like ours) would be forced to either use UPS/FedEx (and FedEx will be ending all shipping of vape products in March of 2021), or wait for our customers to come into the store to purchase vape products in person.
So why was this provision added to the Covid-19 relief bill? Likely for the same reason that a lot of other, non-pertinent legislation was stuffed in at the last minute. But, even ignoring the ethics of this, the official stated purpose of this section was to reduce vaping of nicotine products in minors. What the supporters of this section failed to mention is that less than 6% of youth report buying vapor products online, according to the CDC’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Most young people report getting vapor products and other age-restricted products from friends, family, and informal sources.
What Steps Can You Take?
First, you are always welcome to read the wording of the bill that led to this. That is one benefit of our government: information is accessible, just not always easy to find. The links are here:
- https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/BILLS-116HR133SA-RCP-116-68.pdf (Page 5,136)
Next, if you feel that this change in the rules is unfair and unnecessary, you can contact your representative or senator and voice this concern. Don’t know who that is? No worry! You can easily look up that information using one of these two tools:
- Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
- Senator: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC/
Don’t worry too much about the format if you opt to send them a letter or an email. Just make sure to be professional, brief, focused on your topic, and to state your concern multiple times. It needs to be urgent and needs to highlight your concern as a voter. You don’t need to convince them with fancy rhetoric, or give them a presentation on why they should rescind this section of the bill. Just show them that you are passionate and why this matters to you.
We really hope that you can work with us to point out to representatives and senators that this bill is damaging and does not protect those whom it is designed to protect. It is because of this bill (and the associated increase in shipping cost) that, as of this point in time, we plan to cease all shipment of vape products in April. It is simply too invasive and expensive. We don’t want to stop offering this service to you, but our hands are tied. Help us untie them by contacting your member of Congress. And, as always, feel free to reach out to us through email, social media, or phone. We would love to hear your opinion on this information.