Montana's ban on flavored vaping products has been in effect for about a week and already some people have found a way to get around it.
The temporary ban began last Wednesday -- and vape shops like Freedom Vapes in Bozeman say already many are looking closing, for good.
But the owners say they’ve found a legal loophole.
“Having customers having access to a safe product, you know, that’s the goal," says Ron Marshall, co-owner of Freedom Vapes.
After one day of a 120-day temporary ban on flavored vaping products, Ron and Deanna Marshall many shops like their own are turning off their open signs.
But Ron had an idea.
“Basically, what we did is say okay, well, we’re not going to sell the flavored e-liquid but what we’ll do is we’re going to still sell the components because the components, by themselves, are FDA approved," Ron says.
Kits, each with the regulated parts to let customers make products, themselves.
Deanna says so far, it’s the only way to keep some shops going and keep customers from seeking dangerous alternatives.
“Most of the other vape shops have already laid off all, um, the majority of their employees," Deanna says.
"We had one gentleman who said he was going to go buy some non-toxic antifreeze because it contains the propylene glycol," Ron says.
The Marshalls' argue that places across the entire state have already started looking at going out of business, entirely, but for them, they do say that this is about safety.
“It’s horrifying, you know?” Ron says. "What we did, you know, was just say okay, well, here’s what we’ll do. It’s well within the law.”
MTN News reached out to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services who said, in a statement, that it is not clear where enforcement stands within the ban when referring to kits.
Meanwhile, Ron warns against anyone seeking “off-the-shelf” ingredients over the next four months and beyond.
“Don’t try to do this at home," Ron says. "There’s a lot of chemistry involved in it. You just don’t know.”
The DPHHS also reminds that if kids include flavor components, that would bring them back under the rules of the ban.
To this date, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there has been one vape-related death in Montana.