OLYMPIA, Wash. – As Washington’s Revenue Department prepares to clamp down on about 60 Roll-Your-Own Tobacco stores statewide, proposed federal legislation could squash the loophole used by the rolling-machine stores across the nation.
Kelsy Tikka from U-Count Tobacco in Aberdeen has been watching two key bills “they’re trying very carefully, to slip it through without anybody noticing, to get the wording of what a manufacturer is. [If] they change it federally, it will shut all these businesses down through the states.”
The Secure Rural Schools amendment added to a U.S. Senate transportation bill would categorize retailers providing roll-your-own machines to customers as “mainstream cigarette manufacturers” for federal tax purposes.
If that doesn’t make it, House Resolution 4134, would amend the definition of a tobacco manufacturer to include “any person who for commercial purposes makes available for consumer use a machine capable of producing tobacco products,” HR4134 is in committee.