In a letter sent out to its members this morning, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association announced the proposed consumer day for the its annual trade show has been tabled after the organization was “strongly asked… not to proceed.” Bill Spann, CEO of the IPCPR, indicated that instead the organization would raise membership costs by $100 annually and impose fees for members who let their memberships expire.
The full text is below:
We have made every possible attempt to keep your IPCPR dues low for decades. In fact, our dues are lower than any other tobacco trade association. But, in today’s political climate it takes substantial financial resources to get our message across. Lobbying and promoting the agenda of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association has continued to grow and the number of issues we face is increasing. It is for this reason the IPCPR Board finds it necessary to increase annual dues by $100.
The new dues will also include a free informational membership to your individual IPCPR state association. For more information on joining or starting a state association, please contact Chris McCalla at [email protected] or 706-494-1143.
You will recall that in January we solicited opinions on holding a Consumer Day and Roast at the annual show to raise funds for our lobbying efforts at the state, local and federal levels. As a group, you strongly asked that we not proceed with these plans and they have been tabled.
When you renew your membership (and we need every one of you to stay on the team, especially now!), we will also be conducting a member demographic survey in order to gain a clearer perspective on just who we are as an association. This way, we will be able to more accurately and appropriately represent IPCPR to state, federal and local lawmakers when we meet with them.
We will also be introducing a registration fee for new members and for individuals who let their memberships expire. The registration fee will be in addition to annual dues.
If a paying member decides not to renew his/her membership one year, when they return they will have to sign on as a new member and pay the registration fee in addition to annual dues.
We must not relent in our fight to guarantee the safety of our industry. Our House and Senate Bills have gained immense support, and we must not lose this momentum and prominence while we still have it. The FDA will not relent. They are waiting for us to tire out, or run out of funds, but with YOUR help, that will NOT happen. We are a legal, historic and most importantly passionate industry, and we will not be stepped on by bureaucrats who simply want to further an agenda or balance their budgets.
Thank you in advance for renewing your IPCPR membership. As you know, you will continue to enjoy benefits and services that will assist you in further developing your business to meet and exceed your business plan expectations.
Again, thank you for your continued support.