Year in Review: The Top Legislative & Regulatory Happenings of 2021

Retail M&A comes under the scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission and tobacco regulations show no signs of letting up.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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NATIONAL REPORT — The year brought a new administration into the White House, and with the change came legislative and regulatory news around federal infrastructure, retail mergers and acquisitions, and of course, tobacco.

The past few months also saw the Food and Drug Administration finally take action on premarket tobacco products for newly deemed products.

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

1. President Biden Directs FTC to Investigate Potential 'Illegal Conduct' by Oil & Gas Companies
The Merchants Payments Coalition also raises concerns about the credit card industry and its role in elevated pump prices.

2. Passage of Infrastructure Bill Draws Industry Applause
Retail groups say the $1.2-trillion package will encourage private sector investment in alternative energy.

3. FDA Authorizes First Vapor Products for U.S. Market
RJR Vapor Co.'s Vuse becomes the first electronic nicotine delivery system to get the greenlight under the premarket application pathway.

4. President Biden Commits U.S. to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by At Least 50% by 2030
The new target follows the president's move to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

5. California's Flavored Tobacco Ban Suspended Until November 2022
A referendum submitted by the California Coalition for Fairness qualifies for next year's General Election ballot.

6. IQOS U.S. Import Ban Goes Into Effect
The U.S. International Trade Commission found that the product infringes on two patents by British American Tobacco Group.

7. FDA Again Pushes Back Implementation Date for Cigarette Graphic Warnings
A U.S. District Court in Texas ordered the effective date be delayed until Oct. 11, 2022.

8. Federal Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Backing Year-Round E15 Sales
Both houses of Congress unveil bills two weeks after a federal appeals court ruled against the sales.

9. FTC Issues Consent Order for 7-Eleven's Acquisition of Speedway
The commission calls for the divesture of locations in 293 markets across 20 states.

10. FDA to Work Toward Ban on Menthol Cigarettes & All Flavored Cigars Within the Next Year
After a decade of examining the issue, the agency says there is "strong evidence" that a ban will help tobacco users quit.

About the Author

Melissa Kress
Melissa Kress is Executive Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More