The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association returned to Las Vegas with it's 2016 trade show. This year's show had a lot of buzz preceding it, due to the impending legislation by the FDA.
Yes, on August 8 of this year the cigar world as we know it will change with new regulations from the FDA. This didn't stop some of the major cigar manufacturers from breaking out the big guns with huge displays including a full double-bass drum kit in the Perdomo booth, the Brooklyn Bridge in the Drew Estate booth and an antique car at the Fuente booth.
But it's my feeling that what overshadowed this event was the FDA. Retailers weren't sure how the new regulations will effect their business.
Now, most of the actual changes to the industry won't be seen for another two years but starting on August 8th you will see the production of new and innovative cigar blends slow down to a crawl.
With all new blends needing to be approved by the FDA prior to hitting the market, this will be an extremely costly and slow process. Which small producers just cannot afford. The cigar culture thrives on new hand made product and the regulations will stifle the creativity and innovation of the industry. Not only that but many of these smaller, boutique producers will probably go out of business.
So with these impending overly stringent legislations coming into play, why did some of the cigar manufacturers break out such elaborate displays at this year's IPCPR show??
Well, maybe since they will probably be the only game in town once these rulings take effect.
Small producers can't afford to comply so they either sell out to the big guys or totally go out of business.
For me IPCPR 2016 was bitter sweat.
I see the industry changing drastically in the next 2 years and I really am not sure it's going to be for the best. As a cigar smoker for over 30 years I am not looking forward to where I feel the industry is heading.
Just my 2 cents.