January 30, 2017

According to news reports, the stringent laws regulating vaping in Indiana could soon be shown the exit, providing relief to several e-liquid manufacturers in the state. Lawmakers are currently working on changing regulations that were established in 2016. These regulations have come under the scanner after they forced almost two dozen vaping related businesses to shut down. For instance, a popular store called Smoke N Peace, located in Terre Haute, had to clear stock and start from square one. Pete Wilson, owner of Smoke N Peace, said that he lost almost $9000 in products. One of the reasons for this was that the Indiana vaping law required e-liquid manufacturers to be certified by a security organization.

Mr. Wilson stated that the laws were “sickening” and that no one would be okay with taking losses. The law demands that e-liquids be manufactured in a hygienic environment, be market with detailed labels with traceable batch numbers on the bottle and have childproof caps. Strangely enough, only one firm in the country had the resources to enforce these regulations – Mulhaupt’s Inc. from Lafayette. The company ended up approving only six manufacturers in total, which led to a monopoly. Though state republicans claim that this was unintentional, most beg to differ. As a result, the laws are being revisited.

Now, a bill has proposed that will hand over Mulhaupt’s duties to the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. This will put the government in the monitoring seat, ensuring that a more business-friendly environment thrives with regard to the vaping industry. David Long, Senate President Pro-Tem, believes that lawmakers will fix the issue within the current session.

On the other side of the argument, Mulhaupt has claimed that the law did what it was supposed to. The company currently monitors e-liquid manufacturing throughout the day and even refers to itself as a “pioneer” in its line of work. E-liquid manufacturers are monitored every second with the help of top notch equipment. Everything, from who walks in to the facility to the internal temperature, is monitored.

Co-Owner of Sugar Creek Bottling Company, Randy Burchett, who is a Mulhaupt’s client, stated that he was satisfied with the state appointing a security firm to monitor e-liquid production. He said that enforcing standards would, otherwise, have been an issue. He added that it was possible for anybody to manufacture e-liquids in their own store or in any other unhygienic environment. However, with Mulhaupt’s, this wasn’t possible. The company makes sure to check every bottle that comes from its approved list of manufacturers.

Burchett mentioned that he had no problems with the auditing process because it only reaffirmed his company’s dedication to quality. But, the issue of a few companies gaining a monopoly still hasn’t died down. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the matter to see if any form of foul play was involved. Agents from the bureau have already interviewed some of the lawmakers involved in passing the controversial law.

Senator Phil Boots told the media that he had been interviewed by agents. He said that the agents asked him if anyone might have had something to gain from this law. However, Boots, who is actually a critic of the law, is believed to have answered in the negative.

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