and Small Businesses alike. In Trenton, New Jersey, Governor Murphy signed A5385/S3877 into law, marking a tremendous win for the small business retailers who sell eLiquids and obviously for vapers. This bit of legislation amended the approach to taxation that was enacted last July, which inevitably created devastating results by imposing a $0.10 per milliliter wholesale tax on the sale of not only eLiquid bottles but also pods.
This abomination of a tax on vapor retailers caused the closure of at least 10% of the vape shops in New Jersey, the exodus of several large distributors out of the state, and the loss of hundreds of countless jobs. Once the bill passed last June, the New Jersey Vapor Rights Coalition, under the leadership of President, Danish Iqbal, of Medusa Distribution, worked with Legislative leaders to craft A5385.
The key component of the bill is it changes the tax to a 10% point of sale tax on eLiquids, which is by far much less damaging than the previous 10 cents per milliliter tax. In conjunction with other state partners and with the support and guidance of the Vapor Technology Association, the New Jersey Vapor Rights Coalition was able to reform this standing law within just one year, no easy feat anywhere let alone in New Jersey.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli crafted and pushed for the passing of this bill and has been a champion for small business owners who hold up the brick and motor side of the vaping. The lead sponsor in Senate was Senator Paul Sarlo, with cosponsors Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblywomen Eliana Pintor-Marin, and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. These legislators were able to argue and walk the line between the revenue needs of the state with the concerns of industry participants.
New Jersey Vapor Rights Coalition President Danish Iqbal said; “We are extremely pleased with the level of engagement from legislators across the state who listened to our concerns and suggestions.” Which is no joke, considering how much boneheaded legislation we've seen over the years and continue to see to this day, it's pretty refreshing to see government react so quickly to what was so obviously bad policy.
The New Jersey Vapor Rights Coalition is a nonprofit advocacy group made up of vape shops, e-liquid manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, distributors and the vaping community in New Jersey. What do you think about this reversal in a stupid trend? Will this set a precedent that other states can use to fight insane vape taxes? Is it a sign of good things to come? Has public perception begun to swing around?