State Shuts Down ‘Roll Your Own’ Cigarette Shops
Compliance Issue Challenged
March 24, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The state of Kansas is cracking down on businesses that offer smokers an alternative to buying cigarettes by the pack.
Businesses with machines that let people “roll your own” cigarettes are being shut down. In the last week, the state closed about 20 across Kansas.
Bob Peckinpaugh was one of them – two of his University Cigarette Factory stores in Lawrence fell victim to the state’s regulations.
Peckinpaugh moved to Lawrence last year from Las Vegas, and used his life savings to open his two small businesses.
He says he has all the necessary licenses, paper work, and inspections that were needed when his store opened. But the state shut down his store Tuesday, over a concern about the paper used in his “roll your own” machine doesn’t meet higher standard compliances.
“It’s after you put the tobacco and tubes in the machine,” the store owner explained Saturday afternoon. “The problem, as I understand it, is with the cigarette not being Fire Standards compliant.”
Peckinpaugh said he is optimistic that he will eventually re-open. “I am very hopeful,” Peckinbaugh said.
Attorneys for his “roll your own” machine vendor have already contacted the State Fire Marshal’s office to discuss alternatives. “I hope there’s some sort of injuction or restraining order, because every day we’re closed, we lose more customers.”
Peckinpaugh said it is frustrating to move to a state, start a small business, hire local employees, and within a few months, be forced to abandon those plans. He said February was his best month since he opened his first store in October.