This week's announcement of more normal diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba is welcome news for many reasons. Americans will now have somewhat fewer restrictions on travel, business, and banking on the island, and they will be allowed to send higher remittances to family living there. In Cuba, the deal includes the release of political prisoners and a promise of expanded Internet access. Yet the one benefit that captures the imagination of many is the possibility that Cuba's most famous export, cigars, may finally become legally available in the United States.
If only it were that simple. Even in a best case diplomatic scenario, writes Jacob Grier, we're still a long way from finding Cuban cigar brands at our local tobacconists. Here are three obstacles to getting Cuban tobacco into the U.S.