Citing 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 Minneapolis City Council has passed a one-year moratorium on the opening of any new tobacco shops within city limits.
During the moratorium, no zoning approval, building permit, or license shall be allowed or granted by any city department to establish a new principal use tobacco products shop in a location where one does not already exist, per the ordinance. Existing shops will be allowed to renew their licenses, as will license transfers from one business to another business overtaking the same tenant space.
As a result of the council’s vote, the department of Community Planning and Economic Development, in cooperation with other applicable city departments, will launch “a study to evaluate the impact of tobacco products shops on communities citywide and to propose such amendments to the city’s official controls and other regulatory devices that the department deems necessary and advisable in furtherance of the city’s policy objectives,” according to the ordinance. The first progress report will be due to the city council within six months.
The moratorium went into effect immediately upon the ordinance’s passage on Aug. 31, 2018.