NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new federal law could cost hundreds of Tennesseans their jobs, and has some business owners fired up.
A provision of a Transportation Bill passed by Congress says "roll your own cigarette" machines are illegal, and businesses that house them will be shut down. This impacts around 50 businesses in Tennessee and up to one thousand across the country.
"I'm angry, shocked, worried," said owner of Roll With It, Robert Corenswet, "I had less than three days notice I was losing my business."
The law states that the businesses that feature the machines are manufacturing cigarettes,and therefore subject to additional taxes. Business owners disagree. They state they aren't manufacturing the cigarettes because they rent the machines to customers.
The machines allow customers to pick their own tobacco, and create a customized carton of cigarettes for a reduced price. The tobacco also features fewer chemicals than a traditional cigarette.
"Right now I am able to save 25 bucks that can go towards a bill or groceries," said customer Carol Adams.
Small business owners said they will not be able to handle the additional requirements the federal government is requiring them to follow to stay in business, and they have no other choice but to shut their doors.
"I hate to see this place close," said Hope Bishop, the manager of FireBrand Smokes in Murfreesboro, "It is a tough time for people to lose their jobs."
The law goes into effect on July 1. Business owners vow they will continue to fight, and are encouraging customers to reach out to lawmakers and express their outrage.