In a move said to give officials a more efficient way to ensure age verification at points of sale, the city of Toronto has put licensing for vape shops on the table for consideration.
The recommendation has already passed committee. Its next stop is the city council, which seems likely to adopt the measure. If so, vape shops will be required to spend $645.53 to acquire the license for the first time, followed by a renewal fee of $315.17. These fees are expected to generate more than $50,000 in annual revenue for the city.
Shai Bekman gave a statement to Global News via email in which the owner of DashVapes voiced his support, and the support of the Canadian Vaping Association, for the measure:
“We believe it’s a fantastic way to raise funds so the city can better enforce existing provincial and federal regulations to successfully reduce youth access to these products.”
Indeed, enforcing age-appropriate sales practices is far preferable to draconian measures such as flavor bans and entire product category bans, as some American cities have opted for. Age verification prevents illicit use of vapor products by minors without unduly affecting responsible adults.
Toronto’s executive director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, Carleton Grant, has stated that clearly:
“We need to know where (the retail locations) are, so we can do spot checks to make sure people aren’t targeting youth or selling to youth.”
If the licensing proposal passes, it will go into effect for Toronto’s estimated 1,400 retail points of sale where vapor products are available as of April 1st, 2020.