SUNNYSIDE — Victorian Vapes shop owner Mark Davick isn’t happy about the latest “sin tax” placed on the vape liquids by the State Legislature during the 2019 session.
“It does affect my shop and my customers,” he declared of the bill, sponsored by Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle).
The bill was designed to cut underage consumers from becoming addicted to nicotine, Davick explained.
Even though the new tax doesn’t take effect until Oct. 1, small shop owners like Davick are already reducing their large bottles of vape product to get ahead of the taxation hit.
“I know a lot of the shops may not make it,” he shared.
Davick, along with his wife Carla, has been in the vape business for six years, five of which was in Port Townsend.
“We got into vaping in order to quit smoking,” he said with a shrug. “A lot of people use vaping to help them reduce the nicotine, while still going through the smoking rituals.”
But a new company that produces a single use product called JUUL is very popular among young people, Davick explained. It isn’t being taxed nearly as harshly as the other vape products.
The tax is on nicotine infused and non-nicotine vapor products and includes a wholesale tax on refillable liquid cartridges.
If the cartridge holds more than 5 ml., there is a 9 cent per milliliter tax. In addition, there is a 27 cent tax on all vape instruments.
Davick reckoned one of his $12.60 nicotine-infused vapor liquid bottles will cost about $5.40 more when the tax goes into effect.
In addition to raising the tax on vape programs, the legislature also raised the age at which people could buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vape products. The age will go from 18 to 21, as of January 2020.
“We have always carded (I.D.) people when they come in for purchases,” Davick reiterated.
“Now, when we see a potential underage client, they disappear pretty quick,” he added.