Roll-your-own shops up in smoke with new federal law

ST. MARYS - New federal legislation that reclassifies roll-your-own cigarette shops as manufacturers and all but prohibits the use of automated roll-your-own machines has resulted in the closure of many stores and left those remaining struggling to turn a profit. Section 100122 of the federal Highway Bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 6 subjects owners of roll-your-own cigarette machines to the same licensing rules as corporate cigarette manufacturers and requires they tax their product at rates equal to those of packaged cigarettes.Tom Lander, owner of EZ Rolling in St. Marys and Emporium, said the law has forced him to close the store's Emporium location, and the St. Marys counterpart is costing him money every day it remains open.