Starting Jan. 1, 2017, sellers of electronic cigarettes (eCigarettes), vaping devices, and other related products will be required to obtain a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License from the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). This license must be obtained prior to making retail sales of these products to consumers. It will cost $265 for a 12-month period, and must be renewed annually at this cost.
In accordance with Senate Bill x2 5, products requiring licensing will now include: any product containing, made, or derived from nicotine; any electronic smoking or vaping device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device; and any component, part, or accessory, even if it’s sold separately.
For example, selling eCigarettes, vaping tanks or mods, atomizers, and e-juice or e-liquid at a retail store will require a business to obtain a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License. However, these products are not subject to excise taxes imposed by the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law, and retailers will not be required to maintain purchase invoices or obtain these products from a BOE licensed cigarette or tobacco products distributor or wholesaler. This licensing requirement does not apply to cannabis-related vaping devices that are sold in properly licensed cannabis dispensaries.
Sellers of eCigarettes, vaping devices and other related products should also have a California Seller’s Permit. Retailers can register for the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License online at www.boe.ca.gov.
Beginning January 1, 2017, anyone found selling or gifting any of these products without obtaining a valid license is in violation of the law and subject to a misdemeanor citation and seizure of inventory. Products seized by the BOE or other law enforcement agency are deemed forfeited and cannot be returned by law.
For more information on the new license requirement, read the BOE’s special notice.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects $60.5 billion annually in taxes and fees, supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit the California Tax Service Center.