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Oklahoma: Approved 2009 Legislation May Impact Cigar Retailers
One provision of SB608 of great concern to the IPCPR and the Cigar Association of America (CAA) alludes to the fact that retailers may no longer be allowed to purchase cigars and other non-cigarette premium tobaccos from out-of-state vendors and manufacturers and directly shipped to their shops. I say “allude” for that provision within the bill is not clearly stated.
As the bill progressed through the legislature, we were assured the bill intent was not to prohibit retail members from acting as their own wholesalers, purchasing from out-of-state vendors. Unfortunately, the approved bill’s language is convoluted regarding that point.
As the legislature has adjourned for the year, we cannot amend the current statute. The IPCPR, working with one of its Oklahoma City retailers, and the CAA are working with the Department of Revenue and other key parties to find a viable, legal solution to allow retailers to continue as usual, acting as their own wholesalers until the problem may be addressed from a legislative angle.
The new regulations were set to take effect January 1, but have not yet been implemented by the Department of Revenue, demonstrating they too may have concerns.
We will keep you posted on our progress to a solution.
– Chris McCalla, Legislative Director, IPCPR