The Dreaded Indiana Vaping Laws
A state law passed last year in Indiana that was scheduled to take effect a few months ago, and it's had Hoosier State vapers up in arms. While they're the most likely to be affected, understanding a bit about what's happening is a good idea for all vapers, as broader and more restrictive laws continue to pop up across the country. So, what's happening?
The new law primarily affects e-liquid manufacturers – this includes everyone from well-known juice lines like the ones you'll find on our virtual shelves to local brick-and-mortar shops that mix up "house" juices in a back room or even in the middle of the showroom. Even do-it-yourself enthusiasts who craft liquids for their personal use at home are affected.
To manufacture e-liquid in Indiana as of last June, a mixer must apply for various permits, install 24-hour surveillance systems in areas where liquids are made and where batch samples are required to be stored for up to three years, and the liquid producer must contract for security services. A host of other requirements, such as batch number labeling of bottles and installation of childproof caps on every e-liquid bottle, are also included.
The law seems intended to provide reasonable safeguards – making sure liquid is mixed in a sanitary environment and out of the hands of kids are certainly admirable objectives that could make the industry safer and more acceptable in the eyes of the general public. But it's backfired in some pretty huge ways.
First, there's only one security firm in the entire United States that meets the requirements in place in the Indiana law for monitoring e-liquid operations. And they've decided to partner with only six manufacturers (two of whom don't even produce e-liquid but have indicated they might in the future), leaving every other Indiana manufacturer or vape shop that can afford to meet the new standards left out. The company's owner says he doesn't intend to consider accepting any more clients, even though a dozen or more have applied, some saying they've offered to pay the firm's workers double their normal wage.
Next, there's obviously a big cost barrier, at least for local brick-and-mortar shops. When you're mixing liquid in small batches and selling to local customers, a certified clean room and attendant video surveillance with security in place doesn't make financial sense. All of a sudden, your simple "house" blends designed to sell cheaply cost as much or more than gourmet juices designed and produced by mixers whose only focus is on creating top-notch flavors.
An early legal challenge to the law failed, but in August a second lawsuit was successful in obtaining an injunction preventing Indiana from blocking the sale of e-liquids from manufacturers who didn't meet the new standards. The Indianapolis Business Journal has even reported that the FBI is investigating for evidence of corruption, given that the law was written so that Lafayette, Indiana-based Mulhaupt's would be the only security firm in the nation capable of helping an entire nation of e-liquid manufacturers comply with the state guidelines.
US District Court judge Richard Young, issuing the injunction on behalf of GoodCat, a Florida-based e-liquid company, found that the law is likely in violation of the Constitution's Commerce Clause, which prevents states from placing unreasonable restrictions on businesses that could hinder trade between the states. While the injunction only applies to GoodCat for now, it's likely that other manufacturers could similarly challenge the law, and that its validity will be overturned once the case goes to trial.
Here at Breazy, we source liquids from all across the country, selecting only the best premium and budget juicemakers whose wares we're still able to distribute to all 50 states (Indiana included). And because we buy in bulk and ship from a warehouse rather than a more-expensive storefront, we're able to pass savings on to our customers, leaving you with a higher-quality product at prices competitive with whatever a local shop employee may have cooked up in the bathroom (yes, this has happened and been documented on vape forums).
Worried about creeping regulations impinging on your right to stay tobacco-free? Now's the time to join CASAA or a vaping advocacy group of your choice – the fight isn't over, but as things stand the FDA is on course to turn the whole vaping industry over to Big Tobacco in less than two years. Stand up while you can.