The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has published guidelines in the Federal Register for mailing e-cigarette products. The Notice provides some clarity on USPS policy and outlines possible exceptions, which may include legal cannabis and its derivatives. Until the final rule is released, the electronic nicotine delivery system (ends) is not subject to the prevention of all cigarette trafficking Act (PACT). The U.S. post office also said it would not review any exemption applications until the rules were finalized. However, the agency did say it had tried to simplify the application process.
USPS mentioned the possibility of exempting marijuana products. In applying for exemption status for e-mail in situations where exemption may be granted (e.g., legal cannabis and CBD products, business to business and Research), USPS guidelines recommend that applicants create a spreadsheet containing the following data elements for each sender and recipient address they intend to identify in their exception application:
·Name of enterprise or government entity.
·Postal service retail or commercial mail receiving office where each intended sender bids for goods.
·The post office where each intended recipient gets back the goods.
·Description of the business or government entity (e.g., battery manufacturer, retail store, wholesale distributor, testing laboratory).
·For each license or license, it is governed by the place of issue; the license or license number; the expiration date (if any); and the activities covered by each current license or license (e.g., general business operations; sales or manufacture of tobacco products or e-cigarettes).
·For each sender or recipient engaged in testing, investigation or research, the entity authorized to carry out such activities; the expiration date of such authorization (if any); and a brief description of each authorized subject (e.g., health effects of flavor substances, medical effects of cannabinoid (“CBD”), battery safety testing).
·Brand name and description of each product intended to be sent by each sender or recipient.
·Does any identified product or other intended shipment from each sender or to each recipient contain lithium batteries, nicotine, CBD or tetrahydrocannabinol (“thc”).
·For products containing nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol, the expected quantity of each batch and the concentration of nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol.
·For products containing CBD with THC concentration less than 0.3%, is CBD derived from cannabis.
“If any relevant exceptions are eventually available for [electronic nicotine delivery system (ends)], the Post Office expects to receive exceptions related to the end guidelines, given the highly fragmented nature of the ends industry relative to the industries traditionally covered by the pact act, and the utilization rate of the applications is several orders of magnitude higher than the historical specifications.” “The postal service has yet to decide whether and to what extent these exceptions should be extended to ends. Accepting applications in advance will pose a major administrative challenge to postal staff, who are facing a large number of public opinions within a tight time frame and are working on the final rules.
The general post office has learned that Congress’s decision to stop sending ends immediately after the final rule is published, rather than adopting a 30 day notice period in accordance with the final rule of the administrative procedure act, has exacerbated these concerns. The purpose of this document, therefore, is to clarify the status of the exception application process before the final rule and to provide guidance to postmasters who intend to take advantage of any exceptions that may eventually be offered. “
Many companies in the e-cigarette industry say that it is a difficult task to create a spreadsheet listing each address. However, this is only one of the requirements that the federal government put the electronic nicotine delivery system (ends) products under the act of pact. Among other requirements, pact requires manufacturers to register with the alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives Administration (ATF) and submit monthly reports to state tobacco tax administrators.
From March 28, 2021, all recipients of e-cigarettes purchased online must show their identification and sign at the time of delivery. Many States expect companies to start submitting monthly reports on May 10, and the U.S. general post office is expected to announce final rules on April 27 and officially stop mailing ends products to consumers. These rules have also had an international impact. Ukvia, for example, expressed “deep concern” about the measures, saying that UK businesses had been affected.