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Changes to vaping laws leave Massachusetts shops reeling

| Dec 17, 2019 | Business Law |

Business regulation is an important way to protect merchants and their customers alike, as well as standardize how trade is conducted in a large and complex marketplace. One of the biggest advantages of regulation is the predictability it affords everyone involved. So, it can be especially confusing when regulatory decisions change at the federal, state or local level.

Stores and distributors in Massachusetts are still reeling after a precipitous ban on many products related to vaping tobacco and hemp extracts was recently reversed by the governor in Boston. A new state law still restricts flavored tobacco products, under the assumption they make it easier for underage consumers to get hooked, but unflavored and tobacco-flavored products are back on the market.

“We’re glad that the ban is being lifted partially, but it’s not like, ‘woohoo, the ban’s been lifted’ because we can’t sell the biggest piece of our business anymore, which was flavored juices,” said the owner of a Newton vape shop.

The owner said she closed two of four locations because she estimated 90 percent of sales related to vaping came from flavored products. She and other vape shop owners are looking to diversify their offerings, much like convenience stores, to make sure profits continue if the law stays the same or is once again expanded to cover nearly all vaping products.

Businesses who are looking to clarify or advocate regulations may seek the help of an attorney. A lawyer can represent businesses’ interests and figure out the best way to keep them alive and healthy in new regulatory environments. Legal representation can also help businesses be more active in the making of regulations in Boston and other government seats.