Indiana Vaping Rules Called Onerous & Unfair

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – Indiana’s strict regulations on the manufacturing of liquid that is used in vaping and e-cigarettes devices will effectively ban most products, one business says in a federal complaint.
     With its Enroll Act 1432, the Hoosier state has been at the forefront of efforts to keep a tight rein on the growing market of vaping and e-cigarette devices.
     Indiana already faces at least one charge of discrimination: a lawsuit that says the state holds manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vaping pens to different standards.
     The latter market does not face the permitting requirements Indiana enforces on manufacturers of e-cigarettes. Perhaps not so coincidentally, that same market is dominated by deep-pocketed traditional tobacco companies.
     Florida-based GoodCat LLC joined the fray Monday with its own federal complaint.
     A nationwide retailer with products in more than 200 retail stores throughout Indiana, GoodCat says a security requirement of Indiana’s law makes it unfairly difficult for it to obtain a permit to sell “e-liquids” in the state.
     E-liquids are the fluids that are contained inside a cartridge within vaping devices. Once heated the liquid becomes vapor that the user inhales through the device.
     With a June 30 deadline permitting deadline fast approaching, GoodCat says it needs an injunction.
     The lawsuit calls it unconstitutional for Indiana to require that permit applicants hire a security firm that meets certain state standards.
     While Indiana says the security requirements aim to ensure compliance with health and safety standards, GoodCat says the law is unduly onerous.
     Some of the requirements are simple such as a security company having at least one year of commercial security work with video surveillance and monitoring.
     In conjunction with the other requirements, however, GoodCat says it is almost impossible to find a valid security firm.
     GoodCat specifically has struggled with finding a company that, for the last year, has employed someone accredited by the Door and Hardware Institute as an “architectural hardware consultant.” Subcontractors who fit the bill are not allowed.
     Indiana’s own website says only one security firm actually meets all its requirements, but Mulhaupt’s Inc., based out of Lafayette, Indiana, rejected GoodCat, according to the complaint.
     GoodCat says the Florida-based security firm it hired met most of the requirements and would subcontract with others to meet the final requirements.
     Indiana still rejected GoodCat’s application, stating that “it was deficient with respect to the security firm requirements,” according to the complaint.
     Hoosier Vapers, an advocacy group that has long attacked the state’s law, blasted the requirements.
     “Think about that for a second,” Hoosier Vapers chairman Evan McMahon said in a statement. “This law says that some of the biggest names in the security industry aren’t good enough to monitor e-liquid in Indiana. That’s just absurd.”
     This past December, Hoosier Vapers brought a complaint against the law in Marion County.
     “If this law remains unchanged, all, but a select few, of the e-liquid manufactures in Indiana will be forced to shut down or move out of state, manufacturers outside of Indiana will no longer be able to sell their products to Indiana retailers, and Indiana retailers will no longer be able to carry the national and local brands that their adult customers enjoy,” McMahon said in a statement.
     Without an injunction against the permitting requirements, e-liquid manufacturers like GoodCat have only a few days to gain approval or be forced to stop selling in Indiana. They would until July 1 to remove their products from the shelves.
     GoodCat notes that Indiana’s law will be soon be superseded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whose own e-liquid regulations will take effect on Aug. 8.
     The FDA’s regulations will encompass any e-liquid that is derived from a tobacco plant, such as those sold by GoodCat and specifically prevents states from making their own regulations regarding such products.
     Leaders of the e-cigarette industry actually brought a federal complaint in Washington against the U.S. regulations. The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition is the lead plaintiff of this complaint, also filed on June 20, which says the FDA unfairly subjects e-cigarette products to the same requirements as cigarettes and other tobacco products.
     In addition to the state, GoodCat’s lawsuit names as defendants Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission officials David Cook, David Coleman, Dale Grubb and Marjorie Maginn.
     GoodCat is represented by Nicholas Pappas with Frost Brown Todd LLC.

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