Vaping has taken the world by storm. More and more people have dropped their smoking habits in exchange for exotic snacks. According to a health report by Statistics Canada, the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping gadgets has increased in Ontario, Canada by 3.4% in 2018.

With this kind of boom in the number of e-cigarette users, the need to address specific user preferences has increased. This has also resulted in a rise in the number of shops that cater exclusively to the needs of those who vape.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

These vape stores are regulated by law. One of the laws that affect these shops is the Smoke-Free Ontario Act of 2017. One of the provisions of this law is the prohibition of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places. Furthermore, the law limits the promotion and display of vaping products.

These kinds of statutory limitations put a damper on the business of these vape stores. The Ontario Ministry of Health has seen the negative effects these limitations have on these businesses. Hence, certain exemptions have been put in place, provided that these establishments comply with the provisions found under Ontario Regulation 268/18.

This regulation provides that in order for an establishment to avail of the exemption, it must register with the local board of health as a specialty vape store.

Criteria for Registration

Before one can even think of starting the registration process, business owners must first check if their store meets the following criteria:

  1. The merchandise sold for the past year must be mostly for vaping. In fact, the law specifies that it must represent 85% of the sales.
  2. In cases where the shop has been established for less than a year, then it must be shown that 85% of either their inventory or their sales since the start of their operation must comprise merchandise used specifically for vaping.
  3. As for the remaining 15%, it must be shown that the merchandise sold must comprise other products that are reasonably related to vaping or that it features the name of the store.

Registration Process

The registration process by itself is pretty straightforward:

  1. Complete the “Application for Registration as a Specialty Vape Store” form. Please make sure that all entries in the form are accurate in order to avoid the possibility of rejection or revocation of the registration.
  2. Procure the services of a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). This is necessary for the completion of the “Statement of Professional” section of the application form. This step is necessary in order to prove to the board of health that the criteria discussed above have all een complied with.
  3. After the form’s completion, you may now submit it to the local board of health for the public health unit in which the establishment may be found.

You must bear in mind that, although you have completed the form, the board of health may require the submission of additional records and other documents. Furthermore, it is imperative that any changes to the information provided in the application form must be immediately reported.

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