The West Virginia Department of Revenue has issued Administrative Notice No. 10-26, which rules that allowing customers to use roll-your-own cigarette machines inside retail stores is now considered to be the illegal manufacturing and selling of unstamped cigarettes, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported.
The notice went on to call large RYO machines located at retail stores that manufacture cigarettes for a customer “an illegal attempt to evade the [state] cigarette tax.”
The transaction is illegal in West Virginia whether the retailer charges a customer a fee to use the machine or allows the machine to be used free of charge. Any person, including a retailer, who has in their possession or sells cigarettes made from such an automated RYO machine is guilty of a misdemeanor under West Virginia law. A retailer who knowingly sells unstamped cigarettes is subject to a fine of $100 for each pack of cigarettes either offered for sale or sold, with a maximum fine capped at $25,000 per 30 day period.
Moreover, manufactured unstamped cigarettes are declared contraband and subject to seizure by any law enforcement officer. Finally, these RYO machine manufactured cigarettes must also be certified as fire compliant/fire safe cigarettes to comply with West Virginia law.
The Administrative Notice makes clear that this ruling does not apply to the use of one-at-a-time rolling machines used by an individual including the use of handheld rollers and cigarette rolling machines designed for use by a consumer in the home, NATO reported.