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January 23, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  


Last week I reported that we were successful in our efforts to block the ban on convenience stores from selling e-cigs. But I mentioned last week there's a catch: the governor did sign the flavor ban, but did not sign the legislation where we were successful blocking the convenience store ban. What does that mean? It means that the law has not changed with regard to convenience stores. Although you and all other shops that sell e-cigarettes will be banned from selling flavors, convenience stores may continue selling e-cigs. The reason that there is a catch is that much of what was in the legislation that the governor vetoed will be introduced again, and I believe soon. The sponsors have committed to reintroducing and changing the legislation; including increasing taxes on these products. We are concerned they may try to bring the convenience store ban back. In that case, we will be fighting this crucial issue all over again. In case you need a reminder, here are the different dates certain regulations will go into effect: 
  • February 6: it will be illegal in the USA to sell any flavored cartridge or pod except tobacco and menthol flavors. Because the FDA's ban specifies that it is flavored cartridges being banned, single use products which cannot be refilled can continue to be sold in any flavor.
  • March 1: No retailer can offer or accept any coupons, price reductions, or price rebates connected to the sale of tobacco or vapor products. This applies to all forms of discounts, including anything offered by the manufacturers. Unlike the rest of these changes, this applies to all tobacco products, not just vape products.
  • April 20: It will be illegal in the state of New Jersey to sell any flavored vaping product of any kind in any flavor other than tobacco flavor. This applies to all retailers and to internet sales.
  • May 12: It will be illegal in the USA to sell any vaping product unless the manufacturer has submitted a formal application to the FDA under the Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) rules. It is expected that the FDA will announce which products have applications submitted and can continue to be sold. It is likely that virtually all of the major manufacturers of these products will submit applications before the deadline. These applications are thousands of pages long and extremely expensive to prepare, it is expected that many smaller independent manufacturers will effectively go out of business, and they are pushing to extend the deadline. 
The credit card skimming story continues to have some legs in the press. NJTV news wanted my point of view and came in to interview me. Again, this is another opportunity for me to remind you that if you have not upgraded your pumps to include chip readers, the deadline for doing so is October 1st. After that date, if you are not using chip technology at the pump you will become responsible and liable for all fraud including identity theft. The liability from one incident could put you out of business, don't take this risk! You can view my interview HERE
Usually at this time of the year we receive calls from members regarding compliance calendars. You may remember that NJGCA used to have physical calendars delivered to us from NJDEP that we then distributed through the mail to each of you. The cost of printing these calendars was extremely high, and the state stopped producing them three years ago. The calendars are now available online for you to access and print out yourselves.  
We have stressed how important the effort was to pass the vehicle warranty notification legislation, which requires car manufacturers to provide a written statement informing car buyers of their rights for warranty coverage associated with the vehicle in terms of service at independent repair shops. The bill makes it illegal for motor vehicle manufacturers to void a warranty or deny coverage because an aftermarket service provider used a recycled part or performed a service on a vehicle. The story was picked up on 101.5 this week, if you want to listen, click HERE.
That's all for this week -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




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  News Around The State  

N.J. Becomes First State To Mandate Severance For Workers If They Are Part Of A Mass Layoff
New Jersey will become the first state in the country to force employers to pay severance to laid-off workers, as Gov. Phil Murphy signed the landmark legislation into law Tuesday. The law (S3170) requires that New Jersey employers with at least 100 employees provide their workers 90 days notice - up from 60 - before a large layoff or a plant closing or transfer that will put at least 50 people out of work. It would also force these businesses to pay their workers one week's severance for every year of service. The payout increases by an additional four weeks if the employer doesn't comply with the 90-day notification rules.

Flavored Vaping Products Will Soon Be Banned In N.J. As Murphy Signs Law
Flavored vaping products, which critics say attract teens and get them hooked on nicotine, will soon be banned in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a bill outlawing flavors in e-cigarettes in the Garden State, just months after he called for state lawmakers to send him a measure barring the products as a national health crisis associated with vaping unfolded. . .The law is the nation's first permanent flavor ban, according to the governor's office. Several others issued emergency bans last year as the vaping crisis began. . . A former version of the bill included a ban on menthol cigarettes, but state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said lawmakers put that on hold, planning to bring it up again during budget discussions later this year.

You Don't Have to Take Your Car to the Dealer to Save Your Warranty 
A new law in Jersey requires car dealers to inform new car buyers that they have a right to have their vehicles serviced at independent repair shops. Sal Risalvato of the New Jersey Gasoline and C-store representing independent shops said some owners prefer their local mechanics because of convenience, or longstanding relationships. Also, he said, "it's no secret that generally repairs cost less at your neighborhood repair shop than the manufacturer's dealership." "Too many people are misled, either intentionally or unintentionally, to believe that the (warranty) would be voided if they get repairs done at their favorite repair shop," Risalvato said. "Quite often people come in to their favorite mechanic and say, 'Hey, you know, you can still service this car, but I just bought a new car, so I'll see you in a couple of years when it's out of warranty.' 

Cumberland Farms Leads Massachusetts Alcohol Sale Change
Last year, Cumberland Farms proposed a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would let retailers sell beer and wine at any of their stores, with no cap on the number of locations. As voters wait to make the final decision in November 2020, the back-and-forth between the c-store chain and the Massachusetts Package Store Association continues.

How Retailers Can Prepare for E-Liquid Flavor Ban
The deadline to remove all e-cigarette flavors, except menthol and tobacco, from store shelves is less than a month away, and retailers understandably have questions about how to handle unsold stock in the interim. NACS has prepared a Q&A to address some of these concerns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) January 7 published its final guidance banning flavored cartridge- and pod-based e-cigarettes, except for tobacco and menthol flavors. The guidance permits the sale of e-liquid flavors used in open vaping systems and in disposable, single-use vape products. The agency on January 15 published its guidance on enforcement priorities for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

N.J. Company Must Pay For Employee's Medical Marijuana, Appeals Court Rules
In a ruling that could have far-reaching effects, an appeals court in New Jersey ruled this week that a contractor must reimburse a former employee for the cost of the medical marijuana that he uses to treat his incessant pain from a work-related injury. "This is huge. And the significance of this court decision cannot be overstated," said Steve Schain, a lawyer with the Hoban Law Group, which specializes in cannabis law. "It sets a precedent for other state's workers' comp programs and national private health insurers."

NJGCA: Motorists Get Help From Legislature and Governor with Passage of Vehicle Warranty Rights Notification Bill
On January 9, 2020, Governor Murphy signed legislation requiring car manufacturers to provide a written statement informing car buyers of their rights for warranty coverage associated with the vehicle in terms of service at independent repair shops. With the signing of this legislation, motorists no longer have to be afraid to bring their vehicle for service at their favorite local neighborhood repair shop.

Governor: New Jobs Program Is to Boost Economy, Match Businesses with Jobseekers
New Jersey is making a new push to ensure businesses here have the skilled workers they need to grow, under a new jobs initiative that involves several different areas of state government. The effort, dubbed "Jobs NJ" by Gov. Phil Murphy, sets lofty goals for increasing the graduation rates of college students and those attending other job-training programs. Another focus is improving the job outlook for adults by encouraging more to enroll in programs that provide them with a training certificate or credential upon graduation. It will also bring new attention to jobs that are in "high demand" in New Jersey and provide jobseekers with more information about the specific "pathways" they can take to qualify for those jobs.

Here's How Much You're Paying For Big Expansion Of N.J. Family Leave, Temporary Disability
New Jersey's workers will pay up to $567 from their paychecks this year - a sixfold increase over last year's maximum contribution - to fund a major expansion of the paid family leave and temporary disability insurance programs. Beginning Jan. 1, workers began paying up to $350.74 to finance enhanced benefits the state's paid family leave insurance will offer beginning this summer and up to $215.84 to expand temporary disability.


  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  
Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.


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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  



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Business For Sale: Monmouth County gas station and repair shop in business since 2001 is for sale. Owner is relocating out of state and is interested in selling business and equipment. Owner is open to limited financing. Business has a strong 10 year lease. The building has two repair bays and the gas pumps are leased to a large independent tenant. Repair shop business currently employs a Manager and two full-time Technicians. For inquiries and more info, please call Mark at 908-670-7798.

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