By TechCrunch Editor: November 14, 2017 14:59:03It’s been almost a year since California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, made the announcement that he would seek to end the practice of labeling cigars “legal.”
That news was met with a lot of skepticism, particularly from the cigar industry, which felt it would open the door to the legalization of the black market.
But that’s about to change, with the state now making it legal for cigar makers to advertise their products as legal, and for consumers to purchase them legally.
According to a statement released by Becerras office on Wednesday, the move is part of an effort to end a practice that has caused consumer confusion.
“Cigars are a product that is being sold by retailers, not the government,” the statement reads.
“Therefore, the Attorney General’s Office is providing guidance to retailers and manufacturers to ensure that the products sold on the market are in compliance with state law.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. government’s announcement that it is also working to end sales of cigarettes with tar-like substances, as the FDA has proposed a regulation that would ban the use of tar in cigarettes.
The California attorney general has long argued that it’s the industry’s responsibility to make sure that cigar products are legal.
“It’s about consumer protection, not government control,” Becerres office said in a statement.
“The California Attorney General will continue to fight against harmful tobacco advertising and the sale of cigarettes that contain tar.”
In December, Becerreras office said that the law would be a significant change to how tobacco is regulated, and he said it would not affect cigar makers who are already legally allowed to advertise cigars as legal.