While the premium cigar industry was conducting business during the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) convention and trade show held just over a week ago in Las Vegas, a few Nevada cigar shop owners had to slip out to a cigar shop. It was important. The Governor was there.
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo and tax cap legislative sponsor Assemblyman Brian Hibbetts conducted a ceremonial bill signing at the Cigar Box, just off the Las Vegas strip. With a group of local shops that advocated for the tax measure, the Governor affixed his signature to A.B. 232, enacting the fifty-cent tax cap.
The bill passed the 2023 session with seven minutes left before adjournment, as the Nevada Senate passed the cigar tax cap bill on an 18-3 vote following a 35-7 victory in the Nevada Assembly.
Local shop owner Michael Frey and Nevada lobbyist Mike Sullivan of The Ferraro Group, who assisted efforts in the capitol, attended the ceremony, along with local tobacconists: Jason Samuelson (Cigar Box); Michael Abdoulah and Shar Broumand (En Fuego); Melvin and Michelle Runles (Tap N Ash Social Club); and Brad Mark (Smok Cigar Lounge). Not pictured, but part of the effort, were Joel Schwartz (Trendsetters Marketing); Giuseppe Bravo (Eight Lounge); and Peter Guzman, President of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce.
These shops and others throughout Nevada are the charter members of the new Nevada Premium Cigar Association.