New USPS Vape Rule Could Damage the Cannabis Industry

Earlier this week, The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released its final provision on the mailability of vaporizers, stating that devices intended for legal hemp derivatives such as CBD typically cannot be shipped through the U.S. mail.

The mailing leader in the States has been expanding the statutes of compliance with legislation passed by Congress in 2020 that is summarily aimed at halting nicotine-centric vaping accessories and devices from being mailed. Despite notable public criticism on an earlier introduced version of the mandate that urged the U.S. Postal Service not to translate the law in a manner that binds hemp-based businesses. As a result, the USPS stated that cannabis vaporizers fit the interpretation of what congressmen proceeded to outlaw.

Like any list of rules, there are a few exceptions. However, stakeholders are dissatisfied with the last rule.

During the height of public criticism, some disputed that the proposal was explicitly aimed at restricting the mailing of nicotine-centric vaporizers. While the legislation refers to restrictions on “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” also known as ‘ENDS,’ it defines that phrase as “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized [juice], delivers nicotine, flavor [for taste], or any other [matter] to the [consumer] inhaling from the device.”

The U.S. Postal Service revealed in the rule, which is set to be promulgated in the Federal Register this week, that by the letter of the order, that includes hemp-derived and cannabis vapes.

Other concerned citizens argued that U.S. Postal Service shouldn’t impose the restriction on cannabis products because the ban could conflict with state or local marijuana laws—or because Congress has approved spending legislation that prohibits the use of Justice Department funds for interfering in state-legal medical cannabis programs.

The U.S. Postal Service stated those criticisms are not valid due to (A) it’s portion of the federal government and is unchecked by state or local cannabis policies and (B) it’s not a component of the US Justice Department, which is the only arm of the government bound by the state shield amendment in supporting legislation.

The agency further explained that hemp, including up to 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis, is federally protected and is usually mailable. Despite this, to the degree that they are not consolidated into an ENDS commodity or use as an element of one.’ As such, while businesses regularly mail out hemp-derived products (which is legal), that’s only the matter if they are not vaping commodities protected under the new order.

‘The POSECCA and the Agriculture Improvement Act share similarities, but they do not clash. The Agriculture Improvement Act simply prohibits certain goods from the CSA. It does not with certainty declare hemp and hemp-derived products to be mailable in any conditions, outmoding all other applicable orders (such as the POSECCA). For its share, the POSECCA restrains the mailability of just set hemp-based and associated goods; hemp-centric non-ENDS goods are unchanged, as are ENDS goods dropping within one of the PACT Act’s exemptions. That Congress has administered some subcategories of a set of commodities to be non-mailable while transmitting the rest mailable is not some type of legal stalemate, but, rather, how mailability laws usually work.’

There are restricted exceptions to the new rule. Vaporizers can be mailed within the states of Alaska and Hawaii since they are non-contingent states; established businesses can mail vaporizers between one another or to state agencies; businesses can send goods for consumer trials or public health matters, and consumers can mail up to 10 ENDS for personal use in a 30-day period. Further, it is typically forbidden for a company to send a vaporizer to a consumer by U.S. mail.

Some dissenters argued that CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid associated with cannabis, could collapse under the health exception to the blanket ban. Still, the U.S. Postal Service stated that the former would not apply unless approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA.

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