Indiana vaping industry expands after monopoly eliminated
Aug. 05, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The vaping industry in Indiana is growing after a new state law eliminated a monopoly that was restricting manufacturers' ability to sell their products in the state.
Nearly 100 manufacturers are now allowed to produce and sell the liquid used in electronic cigarettes in Indiana after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the legislation to open up the e-liquid market in April, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported .
They had been previously shut out by a 2016 law that allowed a private firm to determine who could produce the liquid. Only seven companies were allowed to produce e-liquids for sale in the state last year.
Greg Niece, the owner of Vapenindy, said the 2016 law hurt his business. He had to purchase products from one of the seven manufacturers and the limited market drove up the prices.
"We went from making our own juice to paying five times the amount for each bottle," he said. "We had to really pass that onto our customers to survive and what that did was diminish our customer count. We're starting to come back. It's going to take time."
The new law also requires producers to comply with federal regulations and include child-proof caps and identification codes on bottles.
"The changes have been fairly easy to implement and have resulted in more manufacturers being approved," said David Rothenberg, executive secretary for the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
Consumers are seeing benefits from the change as the price of products have dropped to "industry-appropriate" levels, said Amy Lane, president of the Indiana Smoke-Free Alliance, which helped lobby for the bill.
"We are now out of the cave and we're living in the rest of the nation," Lane said. "We can now access wholesale pricing that is competitive with the nation. Those are all positive changes."
Lane said she expects the number of manufacturers to increase to as many as 300 by the end of the year.
"The influx of companies we have seen come back in, and the quality of companies we've seen, is exciting," she said. "It opened the market not only to the larger companies but also to the smaller companies."
Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, http://www.ibj.com