Native American Reservations A Haven For New York Vape Shops

This comes as NY banned flavors earlier in the year

Around Thanksgiving 2019, two months after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that banned sales of flavored vaping products in New York, Taobi Silva thought he’d give the vape business another shot.

Rob Ermolovich, the owner of a shop called Fluid Vapor and a local e-liquid manufacturing business, had given Silva a call, asking if he’d be interested in some kind of partnership. Silva and Ermolovich knew what was coming, as did many in the industry. Consumers, shop owners and manufacturers had already started to see prohibition as an inevitability, and had begun to prepare accordingly.

They weren’t wrong. Though a State Supreme Court justice eventually blocked Cuomo’s executive order months later, the governor soon managed to get what he wanted. On April 3, just past 3:30 am, the New York State Assembly passed a budget that included a flavor ban. It remains in effect.

But while everybody else was panicking, Silva was not. He felt, rather, the opposite. He is a member of the Shinnecock Nation, the 1,500-person tribe outside of South Hampton, Long Island. And he saw a distinct opportunity.

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