Year in Review: Top Legislative & Regulatory Happenings of 2020

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Year in Review: Top Legislative & Regulatory Happenings of 2020


NATIONAL REPORT — Backbar regulation was the talk of the town in 2020. This year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made lots of headlines around tobacco and vapor issues — notably, the extension of the premarket tobacco application (PMTA) deadline, and the agency’s postponement of new cigarette warning labels and graphics to Oct. 16, 2021.

Convenience store retailers also complied with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rulings by divesting assets to satisfy antitrust concerns.

Here are the top 10 legislative and regulatory headlines of the year, as reported by Convenience Store News Online:

1. Federal Judge Approves Delay of PMTA Deadline for Vapor Products

Manufacturers now have until Sept. 9 to file applications to remain on the market.

2. House Lawmakers Vote to Ban All Flavored Tobacco

At this time, a companion bill has not been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

3. NACS Calls on Retailers to Urge Congress to Pass Newly Introduced Liability Legislation

The SAFE TO WORK Act would shield businesses from litigation, provided they took appropriate steps to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

4. GPM & Empire Petroleum Partners Required to Divest Stores to Complete Acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission finds the deal will impact competition in seven local markets in Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and Texas.

5. Couche-Tard & CrossAmerica to Pay $3.5M Penalty for FTC Violation

This settles allegations that the companies violated an order requiring divestitures in 2018.

6. FTC Ruling Paves the Way for Tri Star & Hollingsworth Deal

The parent of Twice Daily will divest assets in two Tennessee markets to satisfy antitrust concerns.

7. Massachusetts' Flavored Tobacco Ban Takes Effect

A 75-percent excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products also hits the category on June 1.

8. Cumberland Farms Wins Latest Battle in Its Face-Off With Liquor Stores 

The c-store retailer's proposed ballot question would lift caps on traditional off-premise sales licenses until they are eliminated in 2024.

9. FDA Pushes Back Cigarette Graphic Warning Implementation Date

A U.S. District Court agrees to postpone the deadline to Oct. 16, 2021.

10. C-store Retailers Receive Grants to Boost Alternative Fuel Sales

Operators secured nearly $30 million toward E15 infrastructure projects under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.