You might recall last October, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, announced a temporary ban on all flavored eLiquids and associated vaping products. “My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians,” said Brown at the time.
The ban was meant to be valid for six months and urged state agencies to develop a plan for warning labels, ingredient disclosures, product safety testing and a campaign to discourage vaping. During the most recent session the flavor ban was killed completely and instead a bill that would create a statewide licensing system for all stores that sell nicotine eLiquids and vape products has been proposed.
Oakland-based company Herban Industries had sued the Oregon Liquor Control Commission which licenses and regulates the state’s marijuana industry. The latter had moved to enact Brown’s order by banning all THC vape oil products containing terpenes, which technically fall under the bills ban because they are flavor chemicals. The Court of Appeals was convinced by Herban Industries’ argument that the ban would cause irreparable harm.
As a consequence during the most recent session the flavor ban was killed entirely. “The flavor ban is gone,” said Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, at the beginning of Senate Bill 1577’s work session. Monnes Anderson said she didn’t have the votes in the Senate and attributed that to a variety of concerns lawmakers had, such as the potential hit to state revenue.
Instead of wasting even more of Oregonites tax money in an amendment voted in the ban’s place, the adjusted bill would create a statewide licensing system for all stores that sell nicotine products. The Legislative Fiscal Office said that the bill would have a $1.5 million fiscal impact in the 2019 to 2021 biennium, and $3.1 million in the 2021 to 2023 biennium.
What do you think about this stunning yet hilarious reversal of a terrible ban in the first place? Will this set a precedent for other states with recreational marijuana to use as a defense against flavor bans for vape products? Will there be more militarized soccer moms coming out of the wood work demanding more bans? Will this madness ever end with sanity prevailing?