Beginning in August 2003, only those cigarette brands and roll-your-own tobacco (jointly referred to as “cigarettes”) listed in the Colorado Certified Brands Directory may be sold, offered for sale or possessed in the State of Colorado. The Directory is updated monthly. The statute requires distributors to provide a current email address to the Department of Revenue (DOR) so DOR can email the updated Directory to all distributors each month.
It is illegal to put a stamp on or to sell, offer or possess for sale cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer (TPM) or brand family not included in the Directory. Violators are subject to civil and criminal penalties. Products not listed in the Directory are subject to seizure as contraband. The licensed stamping agency may have its license revoked or suspended for violations.
To be included in the Directory, TPMs must file a Tobacco Product Manufacturer Certification (TPM Certification) form with DOR and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). This form begins with three boxes indicating what type of certification is being filed: initial, supplemental or renewal. The initial certification must be filed when the manufacturer wants to start selling its brand families in Colorado. A supplemental form must be filed whenever the TPM wants to make changes to the brand families it sells in Colorado. A renewal certification must be filed by the end of April each year.
On any of the certifications, the manufacturer must provide a list of brand families and certify that it is either a participating manufacturer or is in full compliance with Colorado’s Tobacco Escrow Fund Act and all implementing regulations. In order to modify or add to the brand families, manufacturers must file a supplemental certification and an updated list thirty days prior to the changes.
Filing the TPM Certification does not guarantee that a brand family will be included in the Directory. The OAG will review the form as if it were an application and determine whether the manufacturer has provided the complete and accurate information required to have its brand families included in the Directory. The OAG may request additional information as necessary to complete its review.