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Lula may join Gainesville, county in vape shop moratorium
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Hemp based vaping luiquids on display Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, at Planet X Smoke & Vape Gainesville. The City of Gainesville has placed a 120-day moratorium on new vape shops while city officials work on regulations for these businesses. The Hall County Board of Commissioners has also issued a moratorium on vape shops through December. - photo by Scott Rogers

Lula could soon be following Gainesville and Hall County in temporarily banning new vape shops while officials look at regulations.

The Lula City Council will vote at its Oct. 21 meeting on a 120-day moratorium on issuing business licenses to “businesses that primarily sell alternative nicotine products.” 

Mayor Jim Grier said there are no vape shops currently registered in the city, but officials should be proactive in looking at the issue.

“It’s something that’s been in the news. … There’s a lot of emotion attached to it as well as a lot of information people really haven’t had the time to digest at this point,” Grier said. “Taking a little time to do that, I think would be a good move for us.”

Hall County’s moratorium lasts until Dec. 12, while the Gainesville City Council approved a 120-day moratorium at its Oct. 1 meeting. Grier said Lula can use other ordinances as a model when officials look at how to regulate the businesses.

The moratorium would put a temporary ban on businesses that sell alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-pipes. 

Local governments are looking at vape shop regulations in light of national news about vaping-related deaths. More than 1,000 vaping-associated lung injuries have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including at least 18 deaths. The CDC’s investigation has shown that THC products, illegal in Georgia, have played a role in the outbreak.

The Lula City Council will vote on the moratorium at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at Lula City Hall, 6055 Main St.

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