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Panel eases regulations on e-liquid

February 23, 2017 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s e-liquid law was neutered by a Senate panel Wednesday, eliminating controversial security requirements and complying with a recent federal court opinion.

Not much remains of lawmakers’ original attempt to make sure juice used in vaping equipment is safe.

Senate Bill 1, as amended and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, requires manufacturers to:

* Use child resistant packaging, such as caps.

* Use ingredient labeling.

* Include lot numbers on the e-liquid in case of tampering.

* Receive a state permit, though there are no state-specific inspections or security requirements.

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* Follow federal regulations, some of which are in place and others that are coming online slowly.

A court ruling at the end of January complicated the bill. It found that Indiana’s law went too far in trying to regulate out-of-state manufacturers.

Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, said that’s why a lot of Senate Bill 1 was removed in committee.

He didn’t want to create a two-tier system that was more stringent on Indiana companies, which would ultimately push manufacturers and jobs across state borders.

The original Indiana law was enacted in 2015 and amended in 2016. It has been under attack from multiple fronts – including creating a monopoly in the industry by handing over security inspections and certification to just one Indiana company.

Only seven manufacturers received that certification, including CravinVapes, which has 15 locations in three states. Four of those are in Fort Wayne.

“I’m a proponent of reasonable regulation, and this is basically no regulation,” said Shawn Anderson, co-founder of CravinVapes. “We went from a quality e-liquid law back to mixing it up on card tables.”

He said he invested a lot of money and time to comply with the onerous security rules in the law and most of the regulation is now gone under the proposal.

But fellow e-liquid manufacturer Chris Brown, who owns Cool Breeze Vapor in southern Indiana, likes the new language.

He said Mulhaupt’s Inc., the lone security company permitting companies, refused to license his operation and he was forced to move it and his 20 employees from Evansville to Henderson, Kentucky.

Brown said he supports the changes because the original law went too far.

“We respect the decision made by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will continue to watch the legislative process closely,” said Doug Mulhaupt, president of Mulhaupt’s Inc. “Mulhaupt’s takes the business of protecting Hoosier consumers very seriously. Any changes to e-liquid laws should not put safety at risk.”

Senate Bill 1 now moves to the full Senate.

nkelly@jg.net

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