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Vape store owners support new rules from health department after emergency meeting

(The product display at Peak Vapor in Taylorsville. Credit: Paul Nelson)

MIDVALE – Emergency rules about vaping spark an emergency meeting among retailers.  Vape shop owners across the Salt Lake Valley held a meeting in Midvale to figure out how new restrictions are going to impact different stores in different ways.

However, many of them say they’re completely behind the new rules.

According to the Utah Vapor Business Association, the new restrictions won’t have a big effect on licensed specialty vape shops.  Board member Austin Healy agrees there is a serious problem with people illegally filling cartridges with THC or other drugs, which shops are not allowed to sell in Utah.  So, signs about the dangers of vaping THC are a welcome addition to their stores.

“In regards to the literature we have to post in our stores, we volunteered to print those out and distribute those,” Healy says.

Plus, Healy says they’re very protective of what they sell and who they sell to, so, they already don’t sell flavored products to minors.  Some store owners say minors aren’t allowed to walk into their shops without a legal guardian present.  If they don’t have that guardian with them, they won’t sell anything to someone younger than 19, not even soda.

Healy says, “Our organization, the UVBA, we are very pro-age restrictive access.  Our business models were not set up to sell to youth.  That’s not our plan.  That was never our goal.”

However, some customers believe the new rules are overreach.  Vapers like Bauer Bagley say honest retailers are taking the heat over the actions of people with bad intentions.

“Everyone’s taking those THC cartridges and not using them the way they should be.  Or, everyone’s trying to make a quick buck and fill them with anything they can,” he says.

He believes if there are too many restrictions placed by the state, people who want to vape won’t be able to get what they need.

Bagley adds, “Anything that has anything to do with vaping, or, anywhere you can get the necessities to do so, they’re trying to cancel out.”