Maryland Legislator Bills Threaten Tobacco Products and Retailers

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Maryland tobacco retailers and consumers should be on alert–a new pair of senate bills could limit access to tobacco products and put some retailers out of business completely.

Maryland Senate Bill 3 increases the inventory wholesale tax on premium cigars and pipe tobacco from 15 percent to 30 percent, respectively, to a jarring and potentially devastating 86 percent. In addition, House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 233 could ban the sale of all tobacco products if passed, potentially eliminating premium cigars and pipe tobacco in the state based on the taste or smell or the product. A summary of Maryland House Bill 3 is as follows:

Providing that licenses to manufacture, sell, buy, and store cigarettes, other tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices do not authorize the licensee to manufacture, ship, import, or sell into or within the State a tobacco product with a taste or smell of fruit, mint, candy, or other non-tobacco flavors; providing that a public statement that cigarettes, other tobacco products, or electronic smoking devices have or produce a certain smell or taste is presumptive evidence that they are flavored tobacco products, etc.