FREMONT, Calif. - In a scenario likely to be played out across America, a Fremont, California, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco shop is rolling up its business, a casualty of the new federal highway bill that labeled RYO shops as manufacturers, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Owner Marcelo Cadillo closed his store after President Obama signed the bill into law, taping a copy of the legislation on the window. "It was heartbreaking," said Cadillo. "I felt like I got kicked in the stomach."
NACS supported the language signed into law because of the inequality between RYO businesses and convenience stores selling traditional cigarettes, saying RYO is "threatening the livelihood of traditional retailers," as well as "draining federal and state tax revenues and undermining a host of laws intended to regulate cigarettes."
"What do we tell our members who say, 'I€™m losing 30% of my business to the tobacco shop across the street€™?" said Corey Fitze, NACS director of government relations.
"Roll-your-own cigarette machines take advantage of an unintended tax loophole, and that isn't right," said the amendment€™s sponsor Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this year.
Last week, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued notice that RYO shops must get a manufacturing license.