It is that magical time of year when I load up and head out to the International Premium Cigars & Pipe Retailers Convention. After seeing it hosted in New Orleans last year most everyone was happy to see it back in Las Vegas.
The IPCPR, or “the show” as it is known in the industry, is the opportunity for retailers throughout the country to meet with the cigar manufacturers, all under one roof. It is also ground zero for new products, and wow were there some new products released this year!
If you haven’t been following the cigar word in the last six months then you may not know what is going on concerning premium cigars and the FDA. Any new cigar released after August 8 requires pre-approval before being released for sale, and the process could take many years. This meant that every manufacturer has spent the last months working around the clock to get new items to this show and ahead of the deadline.
What does the new regulation mean to ABC? Well, this will have little effect on our guests in the short term. Its biggest impact will come down the road when companies try to get new items approved. There is also a lengthy and costly process for the manufacturers to get any item that was created after 2007 into compliance with the new regulation. Oh, in case you missed it, any cigar released after 2007 and before August 8, 2016, will be allowed to stay on the market for two years while it goes through approval.
To end things on a positive note, here are a few new cigars that you can look forward to seeing in our stores. We were happy to add some very popular boutique cigars from Robert Caldwell (The King is Dead) and Pete Johnson of Tatuaje fame. We will also be adding some great lines from Nat Sherman along with all of our current business partners. Look for Joya Red and Black from Drew Estate along with the exciting new Swamp Thing KFC.
Lots of great new products coming your way over the next few months, all of which I will give detailed previews for right here as they are released. We did the hard work for you here in Vegas, now it’s up to you to give these cigars a try.
Chris Gwaltney, Senior Category Manager: Craft Beer & Cigars
Certified Retail Tobacconist and Cicerone Beer Server
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarchris