The ongoing saga of whether or not a pair of cities in Minneapolis will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old took yet another interesting turn on Monday, as the North Mankato City Council amended the increase it passed in February to that it will go into effect regardless of whether or not Mankato passed their version.
In that original ordinance, the implementation of the increase was to be contingent on Mankato passing a similar ban; until that point, the city would not publish the ordinance in the local newspaper, thus not starting the clock for the ordinance to go into effect. This directive came from Mayor Mark Dehen.
However, the council decided to move forward on its own, removing the contingency and placing an effective date of Jan. 1, 2019 into the ordinance. The delayed start is being seen as a way to give retailers to prepare for the change as well as to continue the discussions with Mankato in hopes of getting that city’s council to support the increase.
North Mankato is home to approximately 17,000 residents and is located 80 miles southwest of Minneapolis.