Updated: Mar 14, 2021
When the U.S. Congress passed the 5500+ page COVID-19 stimulus bill "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021" in December 2020, there was a little know provision buried deep within the legislation. This provision would effectively ban the United States Postal Service from shipping vaping products to adult customers. Due to the careless way the law was written, it could have implications far beyond adult nicotine use.
This bill amends the word cigarette under the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act), part of the federal Jenkins Act, to include the wording "electronic nicotine delivery systems." Even though the bill specifies "nicotine," the bill's definition is so broad that it appears to capture vaping liquids containing CBD. The bill will also likely ban vaporizer devices that are intended for use with THC and CBD, the two most well-known cannabinoids.
By including vaping products within the PACT Act, manufacturers and retailers will be banned from shipping vaping products using the USPS on April 27th, 2021. Retailers will be forced to use more expensive shipping services if they can find one that verifies the package's recipient is at least 21 years old.
FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) have recently announced that they would stop delivering vaporizer products. FedEx has stated that it will begin prohibiting "electronic cigarettes, vaping liquids, and other vaping products in the FedEx global network." A spokesperson for UPS noted that on April 5th, 2021, "UPS will not transport vaping products to, from, or within the United States due to the increased complexity to ship those products."
Retailers will also be required to file monthly reports with state tobacco tax administrators and any other local or tribal entity that taxes cigarette sales. Retailers will be required to disclose the identity, address, brand of "cigarettes," and quantity of shipped products.
Many retailers are looking into making arrangements with different logistics partners and investing in costly software to comply with the notification requirements. While we don't know the effect this will have on the cannabis vaping community; we are recommending that people stock up now while they still can.