WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED BY JAMES JARVIS, OHVTA PRESIDENT
What an amazing 2 days in Washington D.C.! First, I need to say thank you to Jeff Kathman, Kevin Crouse and our Lobbyist Charlotte Hickcox for making the trip with me to D.C. to help educate our Representitives on Vapor and how much we need their help with getting some relief from FDA on the onerous Deeming Regulations.
Secondly, a HUGE THANK YOU to Tony Abboud, Jake Butcher and the Vapor Technology Association for organizing an amazing conference!
The Overview We got to hear from many experts across the vape industry on mulitple different issues we are facing. The hotel and all the accomodations were TOP NOTCH! Third, I want to say thank you to all of the State Association Members from all 23 state associations that made the trip to help fight for our rights in their states and educate their Representitives on how and why we need their help with the FDA!
OHVTA had an amazing day on Capitol Hill!!!
Senator Rob Portman We had the opportunity to meet with Senator Rob Portman first thing in the morning, we had a very good conversation with his Chief of Staff, Health Director and had very good conversation with Senator Portman himself. Senator Portman`s staff tweeted to OHVTA after our meeting thanking us for our time!
Congressman Steve Stivers We then had a meeting with Congressman Steve Stivers Health Director, on the way to that meeting. He saw Charlotte and basically invited to meet with him instead while he was in committee! Congressman Stivers and I have met mulitple times in the past and he once again has committed to support our industry and has committed to sign on to a letter to the FDA.
Congressman Wenstrup & Congressman Davidsons Health Directors We then had 2 meetings with Congressman Wenstrup and Congressman Davidsons Health Directors. These 2 meetings were fantastic and they also have asked for a letter with multiple other members to sign on to instead of sending one letter per rep!
We have a little follow up info to get Congressman Wenstrup, but are very confident in gaingin his support.
Congressman Renacci's Health Director We then were supposed to have met with Congressman Renacci, but they were called to a vote and we met with his Health Director and left our information and asked for him.
Congressman Tim Ryan We then had a fantastic meeting with Congressman Tim Ryan`s Health Director and it was a fantastic meeting. Congressman Ryan has had some very harsh words about our industry, however his Health person asked alot of questions and really wanted to know more and appreciated our passion against youth access, IP infrinegment, Cartoon labels and battery safety! This meeting will hopefully open the door to the Congressman and start some great dialog. Incidentally, the staffers boyfriend vaped!
Sherrod Brown's Health Director Next, we had a meeting that I honestly had written off with Sherrod Brown`s Health Director due to his numerous attacks on our industry. I am delighted to say that this meeting overall was a positive one. Abby, his staffer said "Senator Brown does have a bee in his bonnet about this industry" again, she was impressed that we agree with them on youth, IP, cartoons, and safety...however, she did say that the Congressman was not likely support an overhaul...but this has definately opened to the door to further meetings with them.
Congressman Bob Gibbs Last and certainly not least, we met with Congressman Bob Gibbs! This meeting was the perfect end to an amazing day! Congressman Gibbs committed to send a letter to FDA to push them to allow innovation to help improve safety in our products while we are in the next years of the Deeming. He also was quite confused as to why FDA was wanting to shut down an industry of small businesses that help people quit smoking which could have a postive effect on health, tobacco harm reduction, and reduce medicare spending! I have attached some pictures from our day on the Hill!
Thank you all for your support and stay tuned for we are just getting starting.