O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
December 2018

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — The FDA admits it has fallen short in preventing sale of e-cigarettes to teens and has begun a crackdown by issuing 1,300 warning letters and fines to U. S. retailers, including 54 convenience stores and gasoline stations in Colorado.

In addition, the federal agency has gone straight to the source and given five of the biggest manufacturers sixty days to produce plans to stop underage use or face a ban on their products.

The government has come under increasing criticism for haphazard surveys to determine the extent of the problem. In August, a report was published showing in Colorado authorities' inspections caught violators only a third of the time. They did not include sale of Juul, a heavily marketed e-cigarette brand that accounts for the majority of purchases, especially to teens.

While stores usually asked for ID, clerks were sloppy in examining it, even when the document clearly stated the purchaser was under age, the survey found.

Colorado flag

State advocates of greater control have maintained teen-smoking of e-cigarettes has become an epidemic, largely because the product often has the look of attractive elements, such as fruit, mint or chocolate flavors.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he failed to predict the epidemic. But having now recognized it, he said, "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end."

He said e-cigarettes seem to be a useful tool for adults to cut down on smoking, but "That work cannot come at the expense of kids."

The decision was lauded by Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. "I think it became clear to the FDA that if they didn't get their arms around this issue the use of these products by kids across the nation would undo decades of progress."

Most of the Colorado convenience store retailers targeted are in the Denver area but some are located in southern Colorado and on the Western Slope.

Of the fifty-four not in compliance, 7-Elevens were at the top of the list, with seventeen violators.

PARKER — The Colorado River Indian Tribes held a grand opening for their fourth gas station and convenience store here.

Running Man Fuels 2 is located at the intersection of State Route 95 and the road to the Avi Suquilla Airport. The store also has the advantage of a shopping center just across the road.

The grand opening featured appearances by Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch, other tribal council members and Miss Indian Arizona Mariah Sharpe.

With the erection of Running Man Fuels 2, the tribes now have large gasoline stations and convenience stores at two of the four entries into the town of Parker.

DENVER — A Denver firm says its CBD products will be in 7,000 7-Elevens in the next three years and in 4,500 by the end of this year but the 7-Eleven corporation says, "Oh, no, they won't."

Phoenix Tears first put out a statement, saying it had made a deal with the chain which sparked this response from 7-Eleven spokeswoman Stephanie Shaw: "That product is not going to be in our stores." She said there is no such partnership and "I don't know where they got that idea."

Phoenix Tears then issued a correction, saying the deal was made with 7-Eleven franchises through MarketHub Retail Services, a distributor that works with the franchises.

Whether the corporation can control what goes into individually owned stores is now at the core of the debate. Shaw did say franchises have some autonomy to carry new products.

CBD oils and sprays are derived from hemp, not marijuana.

The stores Phoenix Tears is targeting are in states where sale of recreational and medical marijuana have been legalized. They are Colorado, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Those states are considered to be more likely not to oppose the sale.

CBD producers believe there is an enormous untapped market for CBD. "This agreement confirms our belief that CBD's status as a mainstream wellness option has arrived," said Janet Rosendahl-Sweeney, founder of Phoenix Tears.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Mister Car Wash has entered the Colorado Springs market with the opening of two express locations included in the purchase of Keep M Clean.

The chain now operates 264 washes in 21 states, including four in Colorado.

El Paso regional manager Edgar Morales has been promoted, assuming oversight for washes in Pueblo and Aurora, Colorado.

FORT COLLINS — A Philadelphia firm has opened a convenience store here that has no store. It operates solely by delivery out of a warehouse.

goPuff offers more than 2,000 products consumers can order off an app and pay only $1.95 for delivery. Delivery is free if the order exceeds $49. The inventory includes typical items a person would pick up at a convenience store, such as drinks, snacks, basic groceries, personal care items, household supplies, and pet foods.

The service is available from noon to 4:00 a.m. Independent contractors deliver.

The customers range from college students who develop a hunger at 2 a.m., to a mom who runs out of milk and can't leave the baby to go get it.

Whether this will take the place of a brick and mortar convenience store is doubtful, industry officials say. It likely will be more of an emergency vehicle.

DENVER — Colorado gasoline prices are finally coming down.

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded dipped to $2.89 at press-time after topping off over $3 in some areas.

In Colorado Springs, the price dipped to a two-month low of $2.82, eleven cents cheaper than in the previous month, but still 39 cents higher than a year ago at the same time.

The AAA Colorado report covered twelve cities.

Vail was still averaging $3.28 and Grand Junction, $3.03.

The lowest was $2.81 in Boulder and Longmont.

Diesel dropped a penny, averaging $3.18 statewide, but in Vail was still climbing at $3.54.

Originally published in the December 2018 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2018 by KAL Publications Inc.

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