Governmental foot-dragging on a shipping vape components ban has left vape manufacturers and retailers in an agonizing limbo. The proposed ban could eliminate direct-to-consumer vape shipping. The ban was delayed in April when the US Postal Service needed more time to review public comments before issuing a final decision.
“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 April target date, spokesman David P. Coleman wrote.
The three-month delay has cannabis operators stuck between preparing for a complete overhaul of their business models or everything returning to business as usual.
The delay is frustrating for marijuana operators who ship vape products. (Marijuana products can’t legally be shipped in the U.S., though empty cartridges and batteries are commonly mailed to businesses and consumers who then fill them with liquid THC.)
“We sell empty hardware. We’re not a cigarette. But we all got swept up in this,” said Dana E. Shoched, owner of O2Vape in Lambertville, Michigan.
Complicating matters further, private delivery services like FedEx and UPS have already stopped vape components shipments in response to the proposed law. Approximately 400 vape companies appealed to FedEx to reverse its delivery ban, without success.
Suppliers face significant delays and higher costs.
“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 to get here,” Shoched said.
The USPS had no update on when the final rule might be published.