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Juul Faces Pressure From City Over San Francisco Office Location

San Francisco officials are putting pressure on massively successful vapor pod system startup JUUL and on Orton Development, the developer behind the Pier 70 location where JUUL Labs is headquartered.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, in a letter sent both to JUUL Labs and to Orton Development, which leases the space at Pier 70 to JUUL, requested documents showing whether or not JUUL is in compliance with state and city laws as well as leasing requirements regarding the handling of toxic substances — namely liquid nicotine — as well as posting warnings about exposure to same. The letter also relates public criticism of JUUL for “popularizing highly addictive flavored nicotine among teens”; presumably, the implication goes, without JUUL’s sedate — in fact, very nearly plain — labeling which declares its products explicitly as being for adult smokers, teenagers would have taken no interest whatsoever in the illicit activity of consuming nicotine, or in things which taste good.

Herrera added, regarding the aforementioned public criticism:

“These comments illustrate the potential adverse financial impacts that Juul’s occupancy may have on the proprietary interests of the city, including its port, in its property. The backlash from Juul’s tenancy could negatively affect the master tenant’s ability to maximize revenues from the historic Pier 70 premises and therefore reduce potential participation rent payments to the port under the master lease.”

The city has given Orton Development until December 12 to provide the requested information.

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