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Vaping liquid manufacturer: Law drove me out of Indiana

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Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, testified about his bill that aims to change how the vaping industry is regulated.  - DEONTA LARKINS, THESTATEHOUSEFILE.COM
  • Deonta Larkins, TheStatehouseFile.com
  • Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, testified about his bill that aims to change how the vaping industry is regulated.

Proposed changes to a controversial vaping law may bring business back to Indiana.

Sandy Brown and her husband opened their first Cool Breeze Vapor shop in May 2013 and her business was growing. After the current e-liquids law went into effect last year with new certification requirements, Brown was denied a permit with no explanation. That forced her to move her manufacturing business out of Indiana as well as close two Indianapolis stores to cover the relocation costs.

“We sell to the UK, Colombia, several other countries. But we cannot sell in the state of Indiana where we lived at,” Brown said.

The current statute passed in 2015 and amended in 2016 created rules for that only one security firm, Lafayette-based Mulhaupt’s, could meet. Mulhaupt’s role was to certify e-liquid manufacturers in order for them to be licensed by the state — essentially creating a monopoly.

The new proposal would remove the strict security restrictions and get rid of a provision that barred new manufacturers from entering the industry after July 2016.

Brown said she would move business back to Indiana if the changes would allow her to operate here legally.

Amy Lane, president of Indiana Smoke Free Alliance, said the current law undermined the businesses and pushed manufacturers out of the state. She said the law gave too much power to a company who had no previous experience in the industry.

“No vapor manufacturer in Indiana or anywhere else in the country has ever seen the need for the restrictive security requirements in the existing law,” Lane said, urging the committee to pass the bill.

In addition to removing parts of the current law, the bill will require manufacturers to verify they follow the manufacturing practices and ingredient listing requirements by federal regulations. Additionally, the bill would require submitting a list of ingredients used to the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and ensuring the liquid has not been tainted.

“We want to keep consumers safe but we also want to make Indiana a great place to do business,” Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, author of the bill said.

In a statement, Doug Mulhaupt, president of Mulhaupt’s Inc. said they take protecting consumers seriously and plan to review proposed changes carefully.

The Judicial Committee is holding the bill to consider amendments.

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