Washington, D.C. – Today, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) celebrates the passage and signing of SB 905 in Connecticut, which allows the establishment of cigar bars in the state. Governor Ned Lamont signed the legislation as the final step in the process. The bill passed the Connecticut Senate 29-7, following a 111-38 adoption in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
PCA’s Director of State Advocacy, Glynn Loope, stated, “We are truly pleased that the Connecticut legislature has passed this bill and that Governor Lamont has signed it, allowing cigar enthusiasts to enjoy their passion for great cigars in a comfortable and welcoming environment,” said Loope. “We would like to thank the sponsors for their hard work and dedication in spearheading this legislation.” In addition, the Connecticut-based lobbying firm of Kozak & Salina was instrumental in working with the legislature to negotiate final language to ensure passage of this long-awaited legislation securing a win for Connecticut cigar enthusiasts, our retail members, and the PCA.
He added, “Although the bill was narrowed in scope, it seemed that members of the House and Senate wanted to gauge how the bill would be implemented and received. It sets a solid precedent for a pilot effort so that broader measures may be considered in the future.”
The passage of SB 905 is a significant victory for cigar enthusiasts in Connecticut, and it would not have been possible without the support of Connecticut’s community tobacconists. Nick Casinelli, the owner of the Connecticut Cigar Company in Stamford, stated, “For many of us, this action and support by the legislature is a symbol of support for our small businesses and an opportunity for our local shops to diversify, as we cater to a discerning adult clientele. It’s also an opportunity for Connecticut to keep revenue and jobs in the state, given that cigar bars in surrounding states have been capturing such business. Although the legislature narrowed the bill, we hope this becomes a long-term opportunity for our local shops.”
“We are delighted that Connecticut has taken this important step in recognizing the needs and desires of cigar enthusiasts and providing them with a space to indulge in their passion,” said Loope. “We look forward to working with other states to pass similar legislation, and we encourage all cigar enthusiasts to get involved in advocacy efforts to protect and promote their freedoms.”
Governor Lamont becomes the eighth governor in the nation to sign pro-cigar legislation this year. PCA is pleased to have worked with numerous industry partners to make this a successful year for premium cigar and pipe tobacco legislation.