California’s Senate Bill 793 passed the Senate Committee of Health vote on June 6, 2020. CA SB 793 is another one of California’s attempts to ban vape flavors. It is similar to CA SB 38, which eventually died due to the number of amendments added to the bill.
CA Senate Bill 793 would prevent tobacco retailers from selling flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers. Not only would this wording ban non-vape products such as hookah and flavored cigarettes, it would likely ban alternate ways to sell e liquids such as shortfills, longfills, and aroma concentrates. Mint and menthol flavors would be banned as well. The only flavor that may be exempt is the “taste or aroma of tobacco.”
Although the Committee of Appropriations approved of the bill in the past, The Committee of Health also sent CA SB 793 back to the Committee of Appropriations for a second look. This often happens because amendments have or will be added that change how a Committee may decide on a bill.
However, more than just amendments may have changed this time around. The Committee of Appropriations is in charge of allocating, or appropriating, funds. A lot has changed since the CA SB 793 was first introduced on January 6, 2020. The bill itself has not changed much, but the state and the world the bill was intended for have both gone through dramatic changes.
To put things bluntly, the economy is not as good as it was before. Even during better times, there is very little reason to attack small businesses and the jobs they provide. Now, there is even less reason to lose jobs, and a need for tax money.
It very much looks like California wants to push vapes out for cigarette tax money, even though a much more sensible thing to do would be to tax vapes at a sensible rate. The demand for flavors, disgust for cigarettes, and a preexisting black market for similar products are a great combination to start an untaxed black market for nicotine vapes.
Generally, we don’t really know what the Committee of Appropriations is thinking or what will happen to the bill. Perhaps there will be enough amendments that this will die too. Perhaps appropriations will simply be swamped with other priorities. But what it comes down to is that this is another attempt to kill flavors and another piece of legislation vapers should worry about.
Bill History of SB 793
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