There have been a number of clarifications around vaping laws recently and the onus falls on convenience store operators to comply with ongoing changes required by the government as issues continue to surface. The convenience store channel is already the best at ensuring youth have no access to either tobacco or vape products so let’s continue to be vigilant and test everyone so that we can continue to demonstrate a pass rate of over 96% in government mystery shops.
As of January 1, 2020, all promotional vaping material (in-store and window) must be removed from the convenience channel. There will be a lot of activity from the various companies selling vape but keep in mind there will most likely be no grace period under the Smoke-Free Act for retailers who do not remove these ads by the new year.
You will still be allowed to sell vape pods and products and continue to communicate on black and white signage (same as tobacco) the availability and price of products but not brand names (at this time). You will also have the ability to have a brochure under the counter when a customer is interested in vape products that you may share with him/her once you have age tested them and ensured they are of legal age. You may also verbally discuss the benefits of vape products with age-tested customers and verbally discuss the types that are available in your store.
The City of Toronto has just passed legislation during the week of November 4 that all vape stores will now pay an initial licensing fee of $645 with a yearly fee of $315 to sell vape products. The OCSA has worked with the City on this proposal and there will not be any licensing fees for convenience stores who already have a tobacco license. The only requirement is that when you renew your tobacco licence with the City of Toronto you will be required to check off and declare that you sell vape products as part of your licence. Keep in mind that vape stores have never been licensed and this will allow for inspections, etc.
Hopefully this will clear up any confusion the media may have caused.