Single Store Owner

APR 2016

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LEGISLATIVE Roundup 8 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / APRIL 2016 National State & Local Nearly one year after its former commissioner stepped down, the FDA has a new leader. The U.S. Senate confirmed Rob- ert Califf as the new FDA com- missioner by an 89-to-4 vote. Califf has been a prominent car- diologist and medical researcher at Duke University for more than 30 years and the FDA's No. 2 official. In his new post, he will be responsible for wrapping up many of the agency's ongoing initiatives, including unfinished tobacco regulations, and food safety and labeling reforms. Convenience store opera- tors will have longer than expected to comply with new federal menu-labeling regulations. The FDA issued a statement announcing that rather than enforce the regulations starting Dec. 1, it will wait until one year after the FDA publishes its final guidance on menu labeling. The agency did not provide an expected date for when the final guidance will be issued. A proposed new rule published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture "includes problematic new eligibility standards" for retailers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to a letter that NACS, the As- sociation for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, wrote to policymakers. The proposal codifies the 2014 Farm Bill provisions — something NACS sup- ported — but also makes other changes to retailer eligibility requirements that Congress never in- tended to address in the bill, the association stated, adding: "The proposed [SNAP] rule would make tens of thousands of small businesses ineligible to participate in the program." A University of Illinois study found that adding graphic warning labels to cigarette packaging — like the ones the Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA) has proposed in the past — may not push smokers to quit. In fact, it could have the opposite effect. According to researchers at the school, many people perceive the graphic im- ages as a threat to their freedom, choice or autonomy, and they respond accordingly. CALIFORNIA California became the first state to hike its mini- mum wage to $15 an hour following Gov. Jerry's Brown signage of the bill on April 4. The wage will rise to $10.50 per hour on Jan. 1 for businesses with 25 or more employees, and then rise each year until reaching $15 per hour in 2022. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees will have additional time to phase in the increases. HAWAII Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) recently spent time at Aloha Petroleum Ltd.'s Aloha Island Mart Kahala convenience store as part of the NACS In Store program. Hirono had the chance to work behind the counter and interact with community members, discussing issues important to them. MASSACHUSETTS Boston convenience store owners rallied outside City Hall on March 30 to protest the city's ban on selling flavored tobacco products. The demon- stration was led by the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association. In December, the Boston Public Health Commission voted unanimously to increase the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21 and to restrict sales of sweet nicotine products to retailers only accessible to adults. PENNSYLVANIA The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will decide the future of beer sales at convenience stores in the state. The court announced that it will take on the ongoing case that pits Pennsylvania's beer distributors vs. the Liquor Control Board and Sheetz Inc. The case centers on a Shippensburg, Pa., Sheetz location that is seeking a liquor license where it operates a c- store and gas pumps. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether a c-store can sell both beer and gasoline at the same site without violating state law. Robert Califf

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