Vape mail ban continues to be delayed

Vape mail ban continues to be delayed

The vaporizer mail ban that was supposed to take effect in April has been delayed again and again. Now it is multiple months past the ban's anticipated launch, and hemp businesses are left wondering what to expect going forward.

What is causing the delays?

The vape mail ban is the result of a provision in the 2021 omnibus spending bill that was passed by the U.S. House and Senate on Dec. 21, 2020. This provision imposes new restrictions on the online sale of vaporizer products and the delivery of those products.

Although this provision, called the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act,” was intended to keep nicotine products out of the hands of children, the language of the provision includes hemp-based vaporizer products.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) initially delayed implementing the ban because it reportedly needed more time to determine how to execute the related changes.

“Despite our best efforts, in order to ensure thorough and thoughtful consideration of the complex issues and voluminous comments by industry, individual, and governmental stakeholders, the Postal Service is unable to publish a final rule by [the] target date,” USPS spokesperson David P. Coleman told Hemp Industry Daily in an April email.

How are businesses coping?

Three months have passed, and the rule is still not published. The delay is reportedly frustrating to many hemp business owners because the uncertainty is preventing them from being able to plan appropriately for their businesses. Some businesses rely on shipping not only to get products to their consumers but also to get empty vape components shipped to their business to be filled on site.

“We sell empty hardware. We’re not a cigarette. But we all got swept up in this,” said Dana E. Shoched, owner of a vape business in Michigan.

Large, private delivery services like FedEx and UPS have already stopped shipping vape components. This leaves many businesses with few remaining shipping options.

Many vape manufactures have reportedly switched to niche delivery services in anticipation of this mail ban. However, this change has reportedly caused costs and delay times to increase.

“In the middle of a global pandemic, when shipping is absolutely through the roof, instead of having something get here in three to four days, it can take three to four weeks,” Shoched told Hemp Industry Daily.

However, this experience may not be the same for everyone. One vape manufacturer out of New York reportedly said that it uses private delivery to avoid delays.

“We have worked with our clients to get around the uncertainty by only using private shipping companies and by delivering in pallets, not individual products,” Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, the business’s CEO, reportedly said in a statement.

Some retailers are reportedly telling their customers to expect delays or unavailable products. Others have found ways to avoid delays. However, there are even some that are carrying on as usual for the time being.

When will the final rule be published?

The USPS reportedly has no update on when it expects the final rule to be published.

“The comments we have received are still under review,” USPS spokesman Roy Betts reportedly said in an email. He added that there is “no projected timeline for publishing the rule at this point.”