With fresh memories of how rapidly marijuana dispensaries multiplied and generated controversy, many cities want to slow the spread of electronic cigarette stores until they can figure out the ramifications, reports the LA Times:
“It’s a fast-growing business: A report by Wells Fargo Securities this summer estimated brick-and-mortar sales for e-cigarettes will top $1 billion this year and bring in an additional $700 million in online sales.
“For many, vaping is a way to cut back on smoking. For others it’s a trendy option that offers varied flavors similar to hookahs and lacks the smell left behind by cigarettes. Although businesses and cities are starting to look at e-cigarettes more closely, the devices can still be used at many more places than allow smoking. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t weighed in on the effects of secondhand vapor, the essentially odorless cloud is far less noticeable than exhaled smoke. But as with pot shops, some have raised concerns about the potential clientele of electronic cigarette stores. And an even larger debate hinges on whether the myriad restrictions that many cities impose on smokers should also apply to vapers. For Jim Basham, Seal Beach’s director of community development, the distinguishing line between pot dispensaries and vaping outlets is a bit blurry. He’s seen e-cigarette stores evolve into hemp shops — and draw with them a ragtag crowd.
“You have other folks with different intentions,” Basham said, “and you can have secondary adverse effects, like crime.” Continue reading “E-cigarettes hit snags in California”