In the state of Connecticut, roll your own cigarettes store stores are not cigarette manufacturers, according to a ruling from a Connecticut Superior Court Judge, the Hartford Courant reports. The ruling suggests that retailers are not in violation of state laws by allowing customers to use RYO machines to roll cigarettes online made from loose tobacco.

In August, the state’s attorney general filed the lawsuit claiming that Tracey’s Smoke Shop and Tobacco LLC was illegally making online cigarettes at its two locations. The state had asked the judge to issue a preliminary injunction to stop use of the RYO machines, which Superior Court Judge William Bright denied. However, the judge affirmed that shop employees cannot help customers operate the RYO machines or participate directly in the machine operations.

The attorney general’s office said that “Superior Court Judge William Bright issued a preliminary injunction Friday in the state's ongoing lawsuit against Tracey's Smoke Shop and Tobacco. We are pleased with the court's preliminary determination under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act that the smoke cigarettes shop has been operating illegally in several ways as a cigarette manufacturer.”

The case will continue in the courts, but Tracey’s attorney say the ruling likely predicts the eventual outcome — that the business offers self-service and is not a cigarette maker. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services said the machines are not self-service, but commercial cigarette manufacturing machines, which means the shop owners should have a license and pay all fees and tariffs, including the state’s cigarette tax. Those fees add $3.40 per pack of cigarettes.

“In essence, the court opinion stated that provided that there was no direct participation by employees, consumers who want to rent a machine can do so and it does not constitute manufacture,” said Anthony Troy, a lawyer representing Tracey’s Smoke Shop.

Important Note: MT reference.