LANSING, MI—The Premium Cigar Association won a small victory last week in fending off an increased layer of bureaucracy for cigar retailer to contend with in Michigan. The issue of Tobacco 21 had been essentially put to rest many months ago when the Federal Government imposed the statutory age restriction for purchase of tobacco nationwide. In the wake of Congressional approval, states are enacting legislation to reconcile the change in state statutes.
With the Federal standard firmly in place, state codification as a result may seem superfluous. And while in most state legislative efforts, it has been a routine pairing of state and federal regulations, PCA has remained vigilant in overseeing it implementation. House Bill 4039, which would install the Tobacco 21 standard in Michigan law, also included language which would empower the 83 counties, 1,240 townships, 275 cities, 258 villages to each conceive and implement regulations on local tobacco retailers.
PCA state government relations identified the problem language early in the process and worked closely with the bill sponsor and House leadership to ensure its removal through amendment during last week’s House Regulatory Reform Committee hearing.