How the Bong Bill is Affecting Smoke Shops in Florida
140 new state laws were enacted July 1, in Florida. One of these laws causing disturbance among store owners all across the state is called the “bong bill.”
The “bong bill” is stifling the activities of retailers that sell a wide range of smoking devices commonly used with illegal drugs. It requires these stores to have tobacco licenses if they sell pipes and other paraphernalia, and their stores must make 75 percent of their income from tobacco.
It is now a misdemeanor for a smoke shop to generate more than 25 percent of its sales from pipes or smoking devices.
Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, is responsible for the bill and is also a recovered crack addict who has been clean for almost 12 and a half years.
Any police officer, state attorney or drug counselor can tell you who’s purchasing these pipes and why…the only ones who say they don’t know what’s happening are the store owners.
Thirty shops all over Florida have filed a lawsuit to fight the law.
One of these smoke shops is Grateful J’s Too in Boca Raton, FL. The store has been raking in the revenue for over 10 years selling pipes, adult novelties, incense, T-shirts, cigars, and more.
Jay Work, the owner of the store, says:
Whether or not someone chooses to smoke out of it legally or illegally is not really my concern.
The decision will now be up to the courts and store owners are hoping the law will be at least delayed for a period of time.
Criminal defense lawyers are stepping up their game as store owners are getting nervous over the new law. Selling products that are now being deemed as drug paraphernalia will adversely affect them, and criminal defense lawyers are preparing for that.
A criminal defense lawyer is the best person to have on your side when it comes to drug crimes or anything related to drugs and the law. A criminal defense attorney will conduct an investigation and help you prepare a defense that will lessen your charges, or maybe have them dismissed altogether.