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3 vape store licenses suspended for not complying with ban

December 19, 2019 GMT

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A southwestern Washington vapor shop among the first to have its license suspended for failure to comply with the state’s ban on flavored vapor products will close.

The Columbian reports the business entity behind Fuse Vapor in Hazel Dell was one of three suspended vapor businesses announced Wednesday by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board conducted 3,100 educational visits at Washington vapor shops after the ban went into effect this fall. Most had already pulled their flavored products, according to Capt. Lisa Reinke with the agency’s tobacco tax and vapor enforcement unit.

A third follow-up visit found only Fuse Vapor and shops both called Vapor City & Smoke, in Puyallup and Spanaway still selling flavored vapor products.

The shops can get the suspension lifted if they verifiably comply with the law within 24 hours. As of Wednesday afternoon, Reinke said none had reached out to say they were complying.

Fuse Vapor owner Marcus Torres said he disputes the board’s assertion that he was in violation of the ban and intends to contest the license suspension but he’s closing the store. Even if the ban hadn’t happened, Torres said he doesn’t see a long-term future for today’s crop of vapor shops.

An emergency ban in Washington and other states was enacted after the outbreak of a mysterious vapor-related lung illness that has so far sickened over 2,000 people nationwide and led to more than 50 deaths.