Popular vape manufacturer JUUL Labs Inc., is moving its headquarters from San Francisco to Washington D.C., reportedly to better influence federal regulators that hold the fate of the company in their hands. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by other sources, according to Bisnow.
JUUL inked an 18-month lease to occupy 20,000-square-foot space at a Douglas Development office building in D.C. The move will place the company’s leadership thousands of miles closer to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials. The agency has cracked down on its oversight of vape products in recent months.
Lawmakers and federal officials have criticized JUUL and other vape manufacturers and retailers for their unscrupulous marketing of their nicotine-containing products to youth through social media influences and flavored vapes. In January, President Trump called for a ban of flavored vapes, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavors. JUUL is also facing lawsuits from consumers as well as school districts that have had to shift focus and funds from education to provide resources for nicotine-addicted students.
JUUL has suffered under the scrutiny, with sales falling 38% since July. The company is also expected to lay off about 900 of its 3,000 staff around the world, including about a quarter of its 1,800 U.S. employees. And while the company is moving its headquarters to D.C., it will keep product and software development staffers in San Francisco.
In December 2018, Big Tobacco’s Altria Group acquired a 35% stake in JUUL. Less than a year later, JUUL CEO was replaced by former Altria executive K.C. Crosthwaite.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. They also have filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts nationwide, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.