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The eLiquid.com team previously covered whether or not vape shops should be considered essential services . In the time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses have been forced to shut their doors while essential services remain open. A San Antonio vape shop has fought to stay in business during COVID-19. It went as far as to sue the city for $100,000 and file a temporary restraining order against the city itself.
Mega Vapes sells not only vape products, but also CBD and consumer electronics. They have gone the legal route to fight for their very existence during the COVID-19 shutdown. According to Mega Vapes, their business is essential according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive orders, which are statewide and thus supersede the City of San Antonio’s local laws. The business has claimed that the City of San Antonio revoked their Certificate of Occupancy “on a whim” during the Stay Home, Work Home order.
“The City went even beyond revoking the Certificate of Occupancy order by threatening to disconnect service utilities, electric, gas, and water ‘due to risk of life,’” Mega Vapes said in their lawsuit. The business was cited by the City of San Antonio on April 1, April 3, April 4, and April 6. Mega Vapes has also said that the lawsuit would force them and similar businesses to go out of business if they are not able to operate. “The harm is irreparable if the restraining order is not granted because the plaintiff will be unable to operate its business and, once out of business, it will not be possible to reposition itself in the market. Especially since other similar businesses are permitted to operate,” they said.
Local laws and state laws can sometimes vary and even clash with one another. However, state laws take precedence over local laws in a state of emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. eLiquid.com also has said that if permitted by local and state laws, vape shops should be doing curbside pickup and delivery like many other businesses are doing. Many other vape shops could follow mega Vapes’ lead and assert that their business is also an essential business during this time.
The debate of what is and what isn’t an essential business will continue especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One interesting oddity is that the state of Florida has deemed that professional wrestling is an essential business . Additionally, alcohol and cigarettes are still being sold in grocery and convenience stores, which are also essential businesses. Vape shops are sometimes the only point of access for alternative nicotine products that assist people with their harm reduction journey and may need it more than ever especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Share your comments below with us. We’d like to hear your stories about your local vape shops and what they are doing in the time of COVID-19 to stay in business.
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