A 120-day ban on the sale of flavored E-liquid and vapor products was implemented back on December 18th, 2019 due to the national outbreak of lung illnesses reported by the CDC. We’re now 14 days past the original February 20th, 2020 vape ban end date and yet the sale of vapor products remains prohibited. Why is this?
The vape ban was originally supposed to go into effect on October 22nd, 2019, but Montana vape shop owner, Deanna Marshall, and a vape industry group sued the Bullock administration last year in an attempt to stop Governor Steve Bullock's 120-day vape ban. They were able to stop the ban for two months until a Montana District Court Judge lifted the injunction and allowed the temporary ban to take effect.
The original end date for the temporary ban was February 20th, 2020. Many Montana vape shop owners, including Deanna Marshall, said they will resume selling flavored E-liquid and vapor products on February 20th despite the Bullock Administration saying the temporary ban will be in effect until April 15th. “We gotta do what we gotta do. We can’t let people act like dictators. The law is the law is the law. If we have to go to court again, we’ll go to court again, but we will be selling our products on February 20th as the law states,” Marshall says.
Governor Steve Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, Raph Graybill says, “If we’re following the statute, the 120-day period starts from when the rules could go into effect. I have reviewed the filing in the Secretary of State’s office and it says a very similar thing; 120-days from the day of enactment. Those rules never went into effect because of Freedom Vapes litigation. They went into effect December 18th when the judge issued the order,”
Deanna Marshall states her stores have lost more than 60% of their revenue since the temporary ban took effect. Deanna says her stores have been selling individual ingredients to customers so that they can create their own E-liquid at home and so that they can pay their employees and keep the lights on. This is still not enough, as Deanna has had to lay off 6 of her 12 employees.