Home High Maintenance Blog Hemp News Own a Small Business That Sells Vapes Online? Your Government Says (Probably) Not Anymore.

Own a Small Business That Sells Vapes Online? Your Government Says (Probably) Not Anymore.

I say “your government” in the same way I tell my mom that her grandchildren are “her kids” when they’re being embarrassing. Like, I know *technically* it’s my government too, but seriously? If you’re in the vape industry, CBD industry or just a person who quit smoking and became hooked on an electronic cigarette; life just got a little bit harder. A little bit? Okay, most smaller online retailers will go out of business or find themselves in a legal hell of compliance.

Don’t want to read a lengthy tirade about how obnoxious our laws are? Here are the bullet points:

  • No one wants to ship vape products, wholesale or direct to consumer. USPS outright bans them, UPS agreed to by around 4/1/2021 and FedEx is following suit. Fire up those unmanned drones we guess.
  • You need to be registered for tobacco tax *AND* with the ATF in each state you ship to. 29 states require unique tobacco tax, look forward to expensive software that really absolutely will not work.
  • You have to require a signature + save the record of the transaction retail or wholesale for up to 4 years
  • Really it would be easier to explain how you can buy and sell vapes: within your state where you purchased them from a registered wholesaler direct to a customer you can see with your own eyes and hand the vape to
  • Vape products without nicotine are now considered cigarettes. Some brutal translations of the act also classify hardware and batteries as a “cigarette”

What is the PACT Act?

*We are not your lawyers, please hire a compliance attorney*

[BEFORE] The PACT Act covered two main areas of tobacco business:

  1. How tobacco products are delivered when sold online (wholesale or retail)
  2. What licensing is required to sell those products online (ATF, State Tax Stamp, etc)

[AFTER] The PACT Act now covers two main areas of vape business by changing the definition of the word “cigarette”:

  1. How vape products are delivered when sold online (wholesale or retail)
  2. What licensing is required to sell those products online (ATF, State Tax Stamp, etc)

Two days after Christmas 2020, Congress issued an amendment to the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (“PACT”) Act to apply to e-cigarettes and all vaping products. Why did they do that? The original act passed in 2009 (an amendment to the existing Jenkins Act of 1949) covered cigarettes but not the vape industry which was still a twinkle in ol’ Fernando Juul’s eye (we’re not Googling who invented Juul) the law originally required:

  • Interstate shippers to report cigarette sales to state tobacco tax administrators in order to combat illicit sales and tax avoidance.
  • PACT Act prohibited the use of the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) to deliver cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products directly to consumers.
Literally no one can complain about vape legislation while publishing photos like this. Just follow the existing cigarette rules and stop trying to be edgy with it? Maybe…?

Meet PACT Act II Electric Boogaloo Amendment: Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act

The 2020 PACT Act amendment, the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act,” modifies the original definition of “cigarette” in the PACT Act to include Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).

The term “ENDS” is defined very broadly to essentially include all vaping products, liquids, components, and accessories, whether they contain nicotine or not. Specifically, an ENDS product is defined as “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device,” including “an e-cigarette; an e-hookah; an e-cigar; a vape pen; an advanced refillable personal vaporizer; an electronic pipe; and any component, liquid, part, or accessory of a device described [above], without regard to whether the component, liquid, part, or accessory is sold separately from the device.” (Emphasis added.) Based on this definition of ENDS, zero-nicotine e-liquids, synthetic “tobacco-free” nicotine e-cigarettes, and CBD/THC/hemp vape pens, among other things, would all appear to be captured.

High Maintenance CBD Wholesale

Okay, before we tear into this…you guys have met kids right? A few weeks ago we stopped 3 kids in a row who clearly stole both their parent’s credit cards and driver’s licenses to try to order vapes. Did they get vapes? NO OF COURSE NOT. Our company isn’t run by two raccoons in a trenchcoat. We’re grownups, we use ID verification software, signature verification with ID, we only sell products that test (more than once) within acceptable legal limits for delta-8 & delta-9. We swore a blood oath to trade our first born to the vape industry.

Why? Because if you’re a combat vet with PTSD in the middle of a pandemic and the only thing that may help you sleep at night is a D8 vape, we’re fine with jumping through a few extra hoops. Your aunt has cancer and cannot sleep? We will buy a tax stamp. Can’t stop your rat-ass kid from stealing your credit card? BRUH. Come on.

We love your kids like our own and promise not to sell them vapes ever, but banning an entire industry overnight sounds like a thank you to a tobacco lobbyist because there is no rational reasoning behind it. It is harder to buy a vape from our store than it is to buy one from any store in Detroit.

We are legislating small-businesses TO DEATH without once considering the same cartoon logic that created the opioid pandemic: if your kids cannot buy tested and verified carts what the hell are they going to buy? From who?

(not us man)

I was 12 when Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out with those lovable cartoonish stoners. Are high school kids any less stoned today? How is prohibition working for all of us? Why aren’t we asking questions instead of slapping more laws on top of broken ones?

In 2019, 34 people died from vaping related deaths. No singular cause of illness or injury was found. Anyone who works in the vape industry or around the products an likely venture a guess:

  • Cheap off-market hardware and vape juice made with substandard ingredients, substandard testing and fillers such as vitamin-E that is a known irritant (stop buying sketchy carts please)
  • Asthma — VAPING TERPENES RIGHT INTO YOUR LUNGS IS NOT SAFE. Does your kid have a pine allergy? Juniper? Peppercorn? Sage? Rosemary? Yeah, all that can be found as added ingredients in flavors. *by kid we mean young adult — please use common sense, none of this is safe for kids*

Things vape manufacturers can do that are common sense and respect the boundaries between kids and adults:

  • No, just don’t
  • Don’t make it look like Monster Energy drinks either
  • Or famous candy brands
  • Stop making it look like it’s made for kids dumbasses
  • Talk to kids like they can comprehend urgent and real dangers to their health without the fantasy that young adults are never going to experiment
  • Don’t tell me we threw Super Bowl sized raves all over Detroit for a decade but humanity cannot manage to not make products that harm children

Check back next week for part II where we explain every single step you need to take to get compliant in the next 3 weeks before you end up with no insurance, credit card processor or income when an online sting shuts you down. xo!


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