Vape Radio 57: Vape Expo NJ, State Regulations, and Musicians Developing E-liquids

By August 12, 2015Podcasts
Vape Radio 57: Vape Expo NJ, State Regulations, and Musicians Developing E-liquids

Show Summary:

Vape Expo NJ saw people fined up to $250 for vaping there. Who is at fault? Listen to hear our take on it.

Vape Radio 57: Vape Expo NJ, State Regulations, and Musicians Developing E-liquids Click To Tweet

What you’ll hear today:

  • Vape Expo NJ saw people fined up to $250 for vaping there. Who is at fault? Listen to hear our take on it.
  • Vape Shop break-ins have become an epidemic. Learn how to protect yourself.
  • IndieGoGo says No-No to vaporizers, calling them “drug paraphernalia.” No comment to that BS.
  • The mess in Indiana requires anyone selling e-liquid in that state to get a permit. Do you sell into the state of Indiana? Listen to our take.
  • Musicians are creating their own e-liquid lines! Is this a trend, and will we see the “Tom Cruise” line in the future?

Sponsored by: Council of Vapes

Paul:

Welcome everybody to Vape Radio. Your source for everything you want to know about the business of Vaping. Whether you’re brick and mortar location, developer of e-liquids, online marketer, or anything else in the vape space, this is the place to be. Learn from the first and the largest educational providers in the country with your host and founder of VapeMentors, Mr.Norm Bour. Hey Norm.

Norm:

Hey Paul. Hello everyone and welcome back to Vape Radio. I know it’s been a little bit a while here it is July, this is show number 57. We’re knocking on the door of number 60 and you know what? Today is a very special day because we’re actually going to knocking out 4 segments today. The reason is, it’s because there’s that much really amazing and good stuff to share with you today. We also have a brand you advertiser I want to introduce you to and it’s probably someone that you might be familiar with but you might not know their name. We want to welcome the Council of Vapor to our radio show. You probably haven’t heard of the Council of Vapor but guaranteed you will. If you have a concept for a Mod or a Pen of any style, these are the pros to speak with. They recreate slick, high-quality vaping hardware and will help you with your design, prototype and manufacturing. They already produced some of the top sellers out there including the Royal Hunter and you guys know what that is and the Kindred Lines and they create only high-quality products.

That’s just the beginning, they just opened one of the largest e-liquid production centers in the country with over 50,000 square feet under 1 roof. I was there a few weeks ago and they’re already manufacturing some of the top names in the industry. You know what? They want to work with you. They’ll help you with your hardware or e-liquid needs no matter what size company. If you want to learn more, just go to TheCouncilOfVapor.com. They’re rolling out a brand new line called Ozmos that’s Ozmos with 8 new flavors ranging from sweet deserts to cocktail juices. What’s so special and different about them? Well you know, they’re willing to show you and if you contact them and mention Vape Radio, they’re going to send you an exclusive sample pack of all 8 flavors. Once again, their website is TheCouncilOfVapor.com so we certainly want to welcome that organization to the Vape Radio show.

As I said, we’re actually going to be recording 4 shows today and the reason is we have an amazing interview with 1 of the true masters of vape, his name is Austin Hopper. You might not know his name either but if you’ve been to any vaping events in the past 2 years, you probably know the guy on stage who’s shooting t-shirts out of a can, giving away products or maybe he’s emceeing club contests. He does it all. He’s launching his brand new e-liquid company and you are going to hear it first right here on Vape Radio so do not go away because that interview is coming up. We also have an interview on something that you maybe not want to talk about but you need to know about and that’s insurance. If you’re in the vape space, you have a liability guys whether you know about it or whether you’re prepared for it or not. This interview is one of the heads of Calco Insurance, the man who goes by one name, his name is Sarkis and he has some amazing things to share. Actually, we went a little bit long on the interview because I was so enthralled with everything he was sharing.

Let’s talk about some of the things that was happening over the most recent past. One is, for those of you who have brick and mortar stores, I want to kind of give you a cautionary note. There’s some dangers out there and it’s in the form of break-ins. Here, we worry about the FTA and the state and we worry about the city but there’s been a preponderance of break-ins at vape shops. I want to make sure that you guys have a top-notch security system. It’s not just a coincidence that today’s show is about insurance and about liability but the reality of it is that you need a high-quality security system and an internal camera. I’ve been reading about break-ins in LA, Denver, Portland, Charlotte, big cities, small cities it’s just a few of the names that are out there. Again, we want you to be safe out there so if you have a vape shop, please make sure you secure it. Make sure you use high-quality, top of the line type of security system and monitor what’s going on.

I want to share with you an event that’s going to be coming up soon and hope you’re going to be hearing this in time because the event is coming up on August 13th through 16th in Pomona. It’s known as ECC, that’s the Electronic Cigarette Convention. Last year, when I was out there, that was year number 2, had about 25,000 people over several days and it was vehement of an operation. This year, it’s going to be in Pomona at the Los Angeles Fairplex which is where the LA Fair and the horse track is there as well. Between now and the end of the year, I don’t care where you are in the United States, there will be an event somewhere close to you because we’ve got 2-dozen that are on the slide through just to make vape magazine and there’s something everywhere including the most recent fiasco in New Jersey.

It was called Vape Expo NJ, Vape Expo New Jersey and you might have heard about it because it was all over Twitter, it’s all over Instagram. It seems like the Health Department came in to this several day event and they ordered the vaping to stop or face a $250 fine. Okay, that’s a little bit of a disconnect there. You go to a vaping convention or vaping fest and you try to go in and you’re not allowed to vape, that just doesn’t work. Day number 1 was okay. Day number 2, some of the people were ordered outside if they wanted to vape and the regulator said that you can vape if you only use it to sample 0 milligram liquid which of course is preposterous. Let’s just say there was about 1200 generally pissed off vendors there and a lot of members of the public who, they basically walked away because if you can’t enjoy yourself undisturbed, if you can’t enjoy yourself and participate in the events then it’s just not going to be any fun.

Here’s the question. Who is at fault? Was it the over-anxious regulators and agencies? Was the promoter amiss in getting the right permits? The answers are unclear. We’re still not 100% sure exactly where the buck stop but after speaking to several people who are at the event, it seems that the proper approval was not granted. It seems like there was some paperwork that was missing so right now unless I hear it different, it seems to fall on the responsibility of the promoter. Again, we’re going to keep digging about it and then kind of go in from there.

Here’s another piece of unfortunate news, for those of you who are familiar with crowd funding sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo, there was a vaping product that was put on there with the vaporizer called Xolo spelled XOLO. These folks had this device on the market, create a really beautiful video. It’s a really nice looking box Mod and comes to find out that the brilliant people at Indiegogo decided that this was a drug delivery device and so they pulled it off of their website. The reality of it is, is that there are way too many knee jerk reactions out there from all kinds of people who really do not need to or should they not discriminate about our industry but yet they do.

Again, this is not to keep on a run of bad news here but I’m going to continue on because there’s some bad stuffs that really came out of Indiana and you may have heard about it. It’s officially known as Indiana Bill Number 1432 and the question is, is it a sign of things to come? What it is? It’s a massive restrictions. They pass the bill and here’s what the bill does not allow you to do. It does not allow you to manufacture e-liquids or sell e-liquids unless you have a permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. I’m not quite clear whether that just means a regular tobacco sellers license or whether there’s more to it than that. I need to do a little bit of research. All the manufactures within the state of Indiana, if they are making e-liquid, they have to have 24-hour video surveillance at any where it mixed, packaged, bottled or stored.

Again, we’re talking about a little bit of a theme today. The little bit of theme is cover your ass because there’s a lot of things that are going down that you have to be very wary of because there’s people looking over your shoulder. All the more reasons why you need to be doing things professionally. These people who are manufacturing in the state of Indiana, they pay an application fee of $1000 and they’re going to renew to the tune of $500 every 5 years. Also, you cannot have any felonies if you are a principal and a manufacturing agency. Here’s the good news guys, this even applies if you are out of state. If you’re a California or New York or Florida company, there’s the three of the biggies and you try to sell your e-liquids in Indiana, you’re going to have to abide by the same regulations and laws which as far as I’m concerned is a bunch of bullshit. This is just unreasonable. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

The reality is that lawsuits are already being filed calling it unconstitutional and since it does not take effect until next July, that’s July 2016, I personally, again this is one person’s opinion, I think the bill is going to be struck down. I don’t think the bill has sustainability and I do believe that you’re going to see regulators having to back down. Of course, once the FTA comes in with their brand new deeming regs which should be happening this year, then, of course, they’re going to override and supersede any type of state restrictions. I know about this personally because I have 2 shops that I’m involved within the state of Indiana and of course they were a little bit concerned maybe justifiably so maybe not. I told them just to kind of chill out and not really do anything from the permit department until January of next year because that will still give them 6 months to do it.

All right, let’s go on to maybe some more positive better news. Big, big, big increase of e-liquid companies since we spoke last, it’s been a little while. I’ve been to 3 different events and again, the e-liquid manufacturers out there are growing exponentially literally like mushrooms. What we are doing here at Vape Mentors, we are actually creating a turnkey program to help you create your own line, specifically if you have a brick and mortar store. If you have a brick and mortar store and you’d like to have your own line and based on the numbers I’ve seen, it’s somewhere between about 55% and 60% of the brick and mortar locations have their own line. We have basically a turnkey solution that we’re working with some of the top names in the industry to kind of create flavors that are dialed and exactly to you and your marketplace. You can let us know here at VapeMentors.com or give us a call or on our website and we’ll go ahead and take care of you with that.

Along the lines of people and different people creating lines of e-liquids, we’re also seeing another trend and that is musicians creating their own products. Of course, you heard about Snoop Dogg and his hardware line and my producer Paul actually gave me a little bit of information on that earlier today. This, of course, has been out for a while but there are 2 musical groups that I’m aware of that actually created their own lines of e-liquid. One of those called Gwar, that’s GWAR and the other one is called Saliva. As it turns out, both of them are going to be previewed in our next Vape Magazine which will be coming out in October. I actually spoke with one of the leads from the Saliva group and talked about what their motivation was behind it and to be honest with you, I think it’s an absolutely brilliant idea.

For those of you who are out there in the e-liquid industry or you want to get in the e-liquid industry, if you have name recognition, that is a huge, huge advantage which is 1 of the reasons why you really going to enjoy the interview that’s going to be coming up in the following segments. We’re interviewing Austin Hopper, Austin has an amazing pedigree. He’s been with Cuttwood. He’s been with Space Jam. He’s been with Cosmic Fog. He was their marketing guy and he was the CFO and he’s done a lot of different things. The guy is extraordinarily well-connected, well-respected. Anytime he posts anything on Instagram or Facebook, he gets lots and lots and lots of viewers. Austin has actually created his own company. I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’re going to have to listen to that but it has a most interesting story about where the name came from because it’s a 5-letter word and I said, “So where do the name came from?” And he told me and we decided we had a good time with that, he got already embarrassed then you got to have to stick around if you want to hear that.

As to Vape Radio here, we hit a milestone and for those of you who have been loyal listeners, for those of you who are new listeners, for those of you who like what we do, I just want to thank you very sincerely. We passed 520,000 downloads. We crossed the half a million mark over the last 30 days or so and that was over a 14-month period. We had a few months there where we had a glitch in our system and downloads were not coming fast and furious but right now, we’re hitting 2,000+ downloads per day and I’m very, very pleased with that. Here’s our goal and we would want your help, we ask for your help, we want to break through 60,000 downloads during this month of August. If you were listening to this during the month of August 2015, please rate our show on iTunes or Stitcher or Podbean or wherever you’re listening and also share with anyone that you know because we came really, really close to hitting 60,000 downloads in 2 different months but we missed it by a few hundred so August is the month guys. If we continue our run of 2,000 downloads per month, we would be able to hit that.

Here’s my lofty goal, I want to be at a million by the end of the year. It’s not going to happen by myself, it’s going to happen with your support and if you can give us a hand by sharing Vape Radio with your friends, absolutely post the media player and kind of share with anyone and everyone you know. Here are some interesting statistics because again, I follow statistics especially about our listeners and our followers. Far and away, our biggest audience is in the United States which continues to hover somewhere around 75% to 76% of the people. Next is the UK, England and just so happens that I’m going to start writing some articles for a brand new magazine over there called Vape Around or as they call it over there, Vape Around. That’s my brogue accent which kind of didn’t work. I’m going to be working with some UK publishers over there. Next on the list, not very far behind is Canada. The vaping industry is very, very healthy in Canada but for American manufacturers, unfortunately, it’s very difficult to sell your e-liquids up there because of very severe nicotine restrictions.

Now, here’s one that’s on the radar that maybe will surprise you, it did surprise me and that’s Russia. The Russian Federation now is becoming a lot more commercialized, a lot more capitalistic. When the fall of the Berlin Wall happens several decades ago, it took a long time for, it took kind of trickle down to the masses. There’s been of course some major, major money made through oil through a lot of the tyrants and the dictators over there. It really hasn’t drilled down to the average person but what we’re seeing is that a big growth in the Russian Federation as far as our downloads. Again, I’m not quite sure how big the e-cig industry is over there but what I do know has they had their first convention this past fall, fall of 2015. They contacted me and asked me to speak and I decided that it was probably not the best thing for me to do at that time but I’m monitoring the market over there in Russia and certainly I’m monitoring the market over there in China. Not just my manufacturing standpoint but for my usage standpoint as well.

Here is what is missing, presumably we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan or winding down our presence over there in the Middle East and you’ve heard me mention before that we had a significant population of Afghanistan that was listening to Vape Radio and that has dropped off significantly. I’m hoping that means our boys are home or they’re somewhere else and we support them and thank them for everything they’ve done over there. You know what else is missing? There’s virtually no presence in the Middle East and that’s not because of us, that’s because of the unreasonableness of the people out there. The reality of it is guys is that unfortunately, there’s a lot of countries that are just not willing to acknowledge that vaping is not cigarettes, it is not tobacco and so the problem has been being that they are throwing everyone into an exact same category and it sucks. That’s really all there is to it.

The bottom line is that we have to make sure that we advocate, get involved with all of your agencies and just kind of do the right thing, be good harbingers of the industry and make sure that you, if you’re in the vape shop just treat people with fairness, educate people as best as you can. That is my lesson for today. That is my little soapbox tirade. Again, just be good harbingers of the industry out there. Do the right thing. If you’re in the brick and mortar space, just make sure you treat your people with fairness, with kindness, and with education. We’re coming down the end of the segment so you want to go ahead and give me some after music their brother?

Paul:

You got it. You’ve been listening to Vape Radio. Stick around [inaudible 00:17:21].

Author: Norm Bour

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and the host of the award-winning podcast Vape Radio. He’s a vape industry coach, speaker, author and can be seen rubbing shoulders with the top influencers in the vape industry.