DCP joins CEMA on e-cigarette issue

CEMA recently met with the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), the deputy commissioner, their lead attorney, legislative liaison and the director of the division who oversees the e-cigarette registration concerning the $400 per person registration fee to sell e-cigarette (and other vapor products). We were joined by representatives of NECSA, the Pharmacy Association and an e-cigarette manufacturer. DCP agrees that the way the law was written was a mistake and needs to be changed, but also pointed out that they have no flexibility to make an administrative determination that would supersede the law. The Commissioner pointed out that this was not an enforcement “priority”, but in the event that a consumer complaint was made concerning these products (ie. underage sale, etc.) it would trigger enforcement action. The Commissioner recommended that each location selling these products should at the very least register one person per location until a legislative fix can come to fruition. He stressed that each location needed to be registered by a different person. For example, If a Jobber owned 25 c-stores they could not use their name to register all of the locations. I was told that a large pharmacy chain in CT attempted to register all of their locations under one name and DCP rejected the registrations. We have asked DCP to reexamine the law and the potential flexibility that they may to exercise “administrative indifference” until the law can be changed. Once they make a final determination then we will share it with you. Legislatively, the House Chair of the Finance Committee has agreed to work on language with the stakeholders and move the bill as early in the legislative session as possible. I cannot tell you an exact timeline on when this will be fixed, but you can be assured that we are exploring every regulatory and legislative remedy available to resolve this issue. Sellers of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor product cigarettes be registered No later than March 1, 2016.

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