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    NACS & SIGMA Address AGs on Synthetic Drugs

    Co-written letter clarifies business relationship of oil cos. and franchisees.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, and SIGMA: America's Leading Fuel Marketers sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) on March 9 emphasizing their willingness to cooperate with law enforcement to ensure compliance with state and federal laws regarding synthetic drugs.

    The letter, which also clarified relevant aspects of the business operations and relationships between oil companies and retailers, was written in response to a February letter NAAG sent to the CEOs of nine oil companies. That letter asked the oil companies to take immediate action regarding the sale of synthetic drugs, as CSNews Online previously reported. Such requested action includes prohibiting franchisees from selling synthetic drugs and revoking the company relationship with any c-store or gas station found to be selling synthetic drugs.

    "In our industry, use of a brand name does not signify ownership or control of a retail outlet by a brand licensor or sub-licensor. With very few exceptions, the owners and occupants of retail locations are independent business persons over whom the licensors have no control," NACS and SIGMA wrote to NAAG. "In fact, our licensor-licensee relationships have been carefully designed and structured to avoid any confusion about the fact that individual retail outlets, licensed to employ a brand name, are independent businesses. Today, the integrated oil companies own and operate fewer than 3 percent of retail outlets in the United States."

    The letter closed by emphasizing a willingness to discuss ways that fuel marketers and retailers can work with NAAG and other groups to accomplish shared objectives, according to NACS.

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