Senate lawmakers amended a bill to eliminate many of the state’s e-liquid manufacturing regulations and some manufacturers say the bill would pave the way for their return to the state.
Indiana’s existing vaping regulations shut out all but seven manufacturers, and that’s prompted lawsuits and an FBI inquiry.
Legislation introduced earlier this year sought to address that issue by eliminating some manufacturing and security requirements. After that bill’s introduction, a federal appeals court ruled Indiana has little legal authority to impose regulations on out-of-state manufacturers.
That led bill author Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) to scale back his bill even further.
The measure now only requires manufacturers have child safety caps, tamper resistant packaging and a lot number on the packages. They must also comply with federal regulations.
Head says going any further would create an imbalance in the industry.
“Because if we did we’d be creating a two-tier system where manufacturers located here in the state would have more rules than manufacturers located anywhere else,” Head says. “And if we created that two-tier system, we’d simply drive manufacturers and jobs out of Indiana.”
Chris Brown owns Cool Breeze Vapor, an Indiana manufacturer forced to move to Kentucky by the existing law. He says Head’s bill fixes the situation.
“It’s good to go. We get to move right on back. All of our 20 employees get to come back across the bridge – it’d be really nice,” Brown says.
A Senate committee approved Head’s changes and the overall bill, sending it to the full Senate.
Security firm Mulhaupt’s is the only company in the state legally able to contract with e-liquid manufacturers under the existing regulations. In a statement, Mulhaupt’s president, Doug Mulhaupt, said his firm respects the committee’s decision and will continue monitoring the bill.
“Any changes to e-liquid laws should not put safety at risk,” Mulhaupt said.