PCA and the Michigan Association of Premium Cigars and Pipe Retailers Successful in bid to safely re-open Michigan’s premium cigar industry.
[Lansing, Michigan, March 19, 2021] Premium Cigar Retailers and consumers alike rejoiced this morning as Governor Gretchen Whitmer refined her previous mask mandate, which had shuttered cigar lounges just 4 weeks prior, to allow their re-opening Monday, March 22, 2021. Having endured a tumultuous year defined by lock-down orders and mask mandate, retailers across the state this are relieved and ready to serve their customers again after this morning’s announcement eliminating the mask requirement under the previous order.
The updated guidance allows reopening of cigar lounges where persons “Are engaging in an activity that requires removal of a mask not listed in another part of this section, and are in a facility that provides ventilation that meets or exceeds 60 ft3/min of outdoor airflow per person;”
“The collaborative work between the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) and Michigan Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (MPCPRA) was instrumental in achieving this victory,” Said Josh Habursky, Head of Government Affairs for the Premium Cigar Association. “We will build off this momentum as we work to preserve the tax cap in the coming months.”
The PCA in coordination with the MPCPRA and with the broad support of legislative leadership immediately engaged the administration after it was declared that cigar retailers were to prohibit smoking in their lounges as protection against the spread of COVID-19. PCA and MAPCPRA leadership engaged the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with data and industry expertise that was further used to not only protect public health and safety, but also allow small business owners to resume commerce.
“We look forward to resuming the enjoyment of handmade cigars this Monday! Thanks to the Michigan cigar community for speaking up, and thanks to Director Elizabeth Hertel for taking time to learn about our investment in ventilation equipment” exclaimed Andy Hyde, co-owner of Nolan’s Cigar Bar in Traverse City, and President of the MPCPRA. “This quick resolution was only possible with the help of Senators Ananich, Nesbitt, Schmidt, and VanderWall, and their urgent communication with MDHHS. We will continue to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with proper spacing, hand-washing, cleaning and sanitation.”
Founded in 1933, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is the oldest, largest, and most active trade association representing and assisting retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of premium tobacco products. PCA is a not-for-profit trade association and is recognized as the “Voice of Authority and Reason” on premium tobacco-related issues.