Local vape shops seeing short-term boost but fear future following ban

Posted at 11:05 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 23:06:09-04

WYOMING, Mich. -- Michigan's ban on flavored e-cigarette products has local vape shop owners scrambling.

Though right now vape shops are actually  seeing a spike in business from people who want to stockpile on the flavored products before the ban goes into effect in 30 days, but those short-term profits may not help in the long run.

"We have lots of product in stock, even if we do have a selling frenzy during the next 30 days that we are allowed to sell them. I’m still going to have $100,000 of inventory in-stock that i’m going to lose out on," Jolt Vapor Owner Joseph Mol said.

"We’ve been open almost six years now, we have four locations across West Michigan, one in Hudsonville, Wyoming, Coopersville and Muskegon," Mol added.

The Muskegon location opened its doors last month and if this ban goes through as planned, Mol says those doors will be closing alongside his three other stores.

"Quite frankly, we’re screwed. I mean this is going to destroy the industry, it’s going to destroy my business, I have almost 20 employees working for me and if this goes through i’m going to have to let every one of them go, I’m going to have to close all of my stores," Mol explained.

The ban does not affect tobacco flavored products but Mol says his business is almost entirely dependent on the flavored liquids.

"We’ve had so many phone calls, our business has doubled in the last two days. Everyone is in a panic, everyone's in a frenzy, all the adults I know are coming in and quadrupling their normal liquid orders and stockpiling so they can still have liquid because they don’t want to go back to smoking cigarettes," Mol said.

But that won't be enough business to keep them afloat for at least six months.

"Being a small local neighborhood business there’s no way we can last six months, we are going to lose all of our sales," Mol added.

There is likely going to be some legal pushback to the ban.

The American Vaping Association announced their support for any lawsuit against it.