Just last week, the Indiana Senate voted nearly unanimously by a margin of 49-1 to revise the state’s controversial vaping laws, portions of which had already been deemed unconstitutional by the Indiana Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The original legislation named House Bill 1432 was signed into law in mid-2015 by then Governor and now Vice President Mike Pence. The reaction from vape shop owners was swift and harsh.
Eventually, the FBI even launched a probe to determine if political corruption was involved. The controversy centers around a series of regulations that require all e-liquid merchants and manufacturers to hire an Indiana security firm with a long list of credentials before a sales permit would be issued. The trouble with the law is that only one such firm in the entire state meets the criteria - Mulhaupt’s of Lafayette.
As retailers began to contact Mulhaupt’s in an effort to hire their services, a large percentage of the calls were allegedly left unreturned. By the time that the new deadline for compliance took effect, Mulhaupt’s of Lafayette had only taken on six Indiana vape shops as clients out of thousands of applications.
The backlash to the Indiana vaping laws led to allegations of corruption and unethical business practices. The resulting investigation even determined that several state politicians had even begun working for the firm as “consultant,” which only increased the negative press attention to a national scale.
Sen. Randy Head takes the lead to repeal controversial Indiana vaping laws
Indiana Senator Randy Head is largely credited with authoring the new replacement legislation that has recently passed the state Senate. Deemed Senate Bill 1, it has now been sent to the Indiana House of Representatives for approval.
The House could approve the bill “as is,” or it could recommend revisions. And the process would begin all over again. However, if the House approves Senate Bill 1 without revision, then it heads to the desk of the new Governor, Eric Holcomb.
The only holdout in the 49-1 vote was from a single Indiana Democrat - Sen. Greg Taylor from Indianapolis. His reasoning for voting down the bill was that he believes the Senate Bill 1 leaves the door open for out-of-state manufacturers to include “cocaine” and other illegal ingredients into their e-liquid products. Several senators quickly refuted these claims. Sen. Head responded publicly during a recent press conference last week, “Those things are already illegal, and they will still be illegal."