Yesterday, the North Dakota Senate approved a bill that would allow for cigar lounges to operate legally.
H.B. 1229 passed the Senate by a vote of 25-22. While the House of Representatives already approved H.B. 1229 in February, the bill heads back to the House because it was amended in the Senate.
The earlier version the House passed would have allowed for both cigar lounges, businesses that generate at least 20 percent of their revenue from the sale of cigars, and cigar bars, bars that generate at least 2 percent of their revenue from the sale of cigars.
Now the bill says that a cigar lounge is a business that generates at least 15 percent of its revenue from the sale of cigars but there is no provision for cigar bars.
Per the bill, a cigar lounge will need to:
- Have a valid certificate from the tax commissioner.
- Have a humidor on premises.
- Be enclosed by solid walls or windows, have a ceiling and a solid door
- Have a ventilation system by which exhausted air is not recirculated to nonsmoking areas and smoke is not back-streamed into nonsmoking areas.
- Not allow the smoking of any other materials other than cigars that were purchased on the premises.