Last week we reported on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies released the draft legislation for FY2017 which included a provision to protect premium cigars from undue FDA regulation.
The language states,
“SEC. 749. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the proposed rule with the regulation identifier number 0910–AG38 published by the Food and Drug Administration in the Federal Register on April 25, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 23142) if such rule would apply to traditional large and premium cigars. For the purposes of this section, the term traditional large and premium cigar means—
(1) any roll of tobacco that is wrapped in 100 percent leaf tobacco, bunched with 100 perfect tobacco filler, contains no filter, tip or non-tobacco mouthpiece, weighs at least 6 pounds per 1,000 count, and—
(A) has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is hand rolled;
(B) has a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder and is made using human hands to lay the leaf tobacco wrapper or binder onto only one machine that bunches, wraps, and caps each individual cigar; or
(C) has a homogenized tobacco leaf binder and is made in the United States using human hands to lay the 100 percent leaf tobacco wrapper onto only one machine that bunches, wraps, and caps each individual cigar; and
(2) is not a cigarette or a little cigar (as such terms are defined in paragraphs (3) and (11), respectively, of section 900 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act).”
Word has come down that an amendment to the bill, proposed by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) would change what is known as the “predicate date” for tobacco products that have hit the market since February of 2007. The language which is expected to be entered tomorrow when the full committee begins the markup period of the measure passed by the subcommittee last week. The language would change the predicate date to the date to when the FDA regulations are announced.
This provides extra insurance for the cigar industry should the language to protect premium cigars fall through. The change of the predicate date would save brands that came on the market after 2007.
The Cigar Authority will continue to provide updates on the pending regulations as they become available.