The city of Brooklyn Center is placing a moratorium on the licensing of any additional tobacco retailers while it studies, drafts and considers a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old.
The ban was unanimously approved at the city council’s Sept. 10 meeting and goes into effect immediately. It does not affect the renewal of any existing licenses. In a memo to the city manager, the city clerk said that the suspension of new licenses is in the public’s best interest.
The ban will be lifted once the age increase has gone through the legislative process, a timeline that has yet to be determined.
The Minneapolis area has seen a number of cities pass such increases to the tobacco purchasing age, including Minneapolis itself, which also recently enacted a moratorium on new shops out of concerns about the number of new tobacco products shops that have been proposed since the city council passed an ordinance in 2017 prohibiting the sale of menthol tobacco in convenience and grocery stores.
The neighboring city of Minnetonka just passed its own increase, joining Plymouth, Edina, Bloomington, Richfield and St. Louis Park.
Brooklyn Center is home to nearly 31,000 residents and is located about 10 miles to the north of downtown Minneapolis.