The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) reported that on Wednesday, June 28th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture passed legislation that includes a provision exempting premium cigars from FDA regulations. The provision, which applies the same definition for premium cigars as included in stand alone legislation already introduced and supported by over a quarter of Congress, applies the exemption for one full Fiscal Year (October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018). The path forward for the bill remains long. The full Appropriations Committee must now consider and pass the bill – followed by passage by the full House of Representatives, then it must be conferenced with the Senate’s yet-to-be introduced legislation.
This is the first step in a process, but Mark Pursell, IPCPR CEO remains very encouraged by the decision from Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Ranking Member Sanford Bishop (D-GA) to include this language. “Their leadership speaks volumes – it provides some reassurance to our small business retailers across the country that they haven’t been forgotten, despite the FDA’s decisions last year.”
IPCPR’s government relations team will continue to engage with the House and Senate as both consider FY 2018 appropriations bills. The association will continue to pursue all potential remedies to the onerous and short-sighted regulatory burden placed on our industry by the FDA.