California Bill AB1500, which deals with adding fees to e-cig purchases online, is up for a vote. This bill could have hazardous effects on those in the e-cig business, especially if you do not have an e-cig merchant account or a merchant account processor who is familiar with the terms of the bill, as it is likely to pass. This bill, and the hidden terms in it, can heavily damage the online e-cig industry.
This bill, which was once passed through the state house but then failed in the state senate, targets e-cig merchants through tricky taxation. It is tricky because they label it as a service, but it is indeed a tax. The new fee would be $5-$6 per order to authorize an “Adult Signature” for delivery. The adult would have to be over the age of 21, and would perhaps have to take the day off work to get their package. The e-cig and e-cig merchant account providers, such as eMerchantBroker, do not have any issue with the age verification at the time of order for those over the age of 18. The vast majority of purchasers online are of legal age, and this should not affect business. The bill states that “Vapor consumers over 18 years of age (but under 21) will be unable to receive their products. These adult smokers need options more than any other group – this is the age span where a lifelong addiction habit is cemented into their lives”. The state does not offer up an alternative for this age category, as it is still legal for those between 18 and 21 to purchase tobacco cigarettes. The fact that they are trying to limit the availability of e-cigs to this age group is horrendous, as e-cigs seem to have less effect on the body. As horrendous as this is, the extra charge for an adult to sign for the product is a way for the state of California to impose a tax on customers who want to purchase a legal product.
This bill is likely to pass, but it will no doubt have lasting effects on the online e-cig industry. Merchants need to make sure that they are up to date on all new legislation. This can be hard if you do not have a merchant account processor. While it can seem impossible to find a merchant account processor who accepts e-cig merchants, there are a few who do. eMerchantBroker, for instance, is on top of their game and is in tune with all new reports and legislation regarding the e-cig industry. Their fees are also very reasonable.
If you are not sure how this new law will impact you and your e-cig business, feel free to contact us today!