IPCPR President's Letter to Membership

IPCPR Member:

The 84th Annual Convention and International Trade Show this summer in Las Vegas is a critical opportunity for retail tobacconists and manufacturers to learn about navigating regulation. IPCPR will host a series of educational seminars to examine the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of tobacco products and enhance your understanding of key compliance issues. This forum will also bring together legal experts and industry representatives to discuss future legislative and legal strategies to protect the trade.   IPCPR this year is more important than ever.  The great news is that the floor is nearly sold out and retailer attendance is running 22% ahead year over year as of June 3rd.

As you finalize plans for your trip to Las Vegas, please consider the following important educational opportunities:

  • Manufacturer Seminar/The FDA, July 24 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Living with the FDA – A Seminar for Retailers: Sunday, July 24 from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Government Affairs Strategy and Reception: Sunday, July 24 from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • State Association Breakfast: Tuesday, July 26 from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

In addition, you are invited to visit the IPCPR team at the government affairs booth on the trade show floor. Here you will learn about current legislative and regulatory challenges facing the industry, and how you can make a difference.

At the time of this writing there are still many aspects of the deeming rule that require further clarification. The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) is working to get firm, conclusive facts and interpretations to provide reliable information.  For our trade show, it is business as usual.  While we are working diligently on options for a regulatory, legislative or eventual legal fix, most of the deeming rule requirements do not kick in for 18 months or more.  In fact, most provisions affect manufacturing with retail being less affected.
Our staff is here to advise you during this changing regulatory climate. You will be selling cigars one year from now, three years from now, and ten years from now.  The industry must adapt to a new regulatory scheme.  I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the educational opportunities at the trade show that will help you operate your business in our new universe.

I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.


Craig Cass, President
International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association

State Board of Equalization News Release

For Immediate Release

May 27, 2016

NR 53-16-G

Contact: Office of Public Affairs


New Law Raises Licensing Fees for Cigarettes and Tobacco Products

Sacramento – Sellers of cigarettes and tobacco products will see their licensing fees increase starting June 9, 2016. The increased fees are a result of Assembly Bill x2 11, which was signed into law on May 4 and increases the Cigarette and Tobacco Products License application and renewal fees for retailers, wholesalers, and distributors to provide additional funding for cigarette and tobacco products tax compliance. This new law is effective the same day that the age for purchasing cigarettes and tobacco products raises from 18 to 21 years old. License applications can be submitted through the Board of Equalization’s (BOE) online registration system.

The BOE administers a statewide program to license cigarette and tobacco products manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers (Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003). Currently, retailers pay a one-time licensing fee of $100 per location where these products are sold. The new law will require them to pay $265 annually for each location. Distributors and wholesalers currently pay $1,000 per calendar year per location. The new law will require them to pay $1,200 per calendar year per location.

Listed below are the fees that go into effect on June 9, 2016 for all new licenses.

License Type

Old Application Fee

(On or before June 8, 2016)

New Application Fee

(On or After June 9, 2016)

Retailer $100 per location $265 per location
Wholesaler/Distributor $1,000 per location $1,200 per location

Beginning January 1, 2017, the new law also imposes an annual renewal fee of $265 for retailer licenses and increases the wholesaler and distributor license annual renewal fee to $1,200. The new renewal fee amounts are shown below.

License Type

Old Renewal Fee

(On or before December 31, 2016)

New Renewal Fee

(On or After January 1, 2017)

Retailer $0 $265 per location per year
Wholesaler/Distributor $1,000 per location per calendar year $1,200 per location per calendar year

WSJ Article on State of Cuban Tobacco Production

Smoked: Cuba's Cigar Industry Isn't Ready for Its American Moment

SAN LUIS, Cuba-The fertile soil here in the Pinar del Río valley has long produced a richly flavored, slow-burning tobacco that is, without exaggeration, the envy of the world. Some of Cuba's best-paid workers roll the cured leaves by hand into cigars carrying the names Cohiba and Montecristo and Partagás, luxury brands as coveted by aficionados as the sparkling wines of Champagne or the single malt whiskies of Scotland.

Recent Developments in California & Nationally

Date:     May 20, 2016

To:         To Our Valued California Customers

From:     Charles J. Janigian

Subject:  Recent Developments in California & Nationally

In case you have not been following the news the following is a recap of Legislative Bills signed into by Governor Jerry Brown:

SB5X2 by Senator Mark Leno, Democrat, San Francisco, will classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, making them subject to the same restrictions as cigarettes, such as smoke-free laws in and around public buildings and workplaces and civil penalties for those caught selling to minors.

SB7X2 by Senator Ed Hernandez, Democrat, Azusa, will make it a crime to sell tobacco to anyone under 21, with an exemption for active military personnel. There will be no penalties, however, for anyone smoking under the age of 21.

AB7X2 by Assemblyman Mark Stone, Democrat, Monterey Bay, will remove many legal exemptions that allow smoking in indoor workplaces.

AB9X2 by Assemblymen Tony Thurmond, Democrat, Richmond, and Adrin Nazarian, Democrat, Sherman Oaks, will require all schools to be tobacco free.

AB11X2 by Adrin Nazarian, Democrat, Sherman Oaks, will increase the state’s tobacco licensing fee from a one-time $100 fee to a $265 annual fee and increase the distributor and wholesaler license fee from $1000 to $1,200 annually.

The Governor did veto the following Bill:

AB10X2 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, Democrat, Santa Monica, which would have allowed counties and cities to ask for voter approval on local tobacco taxes.

In addition, the campaign to raise California’s cigarette tax by $2 a pack has collected enough signatures to qualify the proposal for the November 8, 2016 ballot. In addition to the $2 a pack cigarette tax increase there would be an equivalent tax increase on all other tobacco products.

The FDA announced it will extend Federal regulatory authority over e-cigarettes. In addition it will extend its authority over the premium cigar industry.

We will keep you informed of all developments as they occur.