The Philadelphia City Council voted on Wednesday to uphold current restrictions on tobacco retailers in the city, namely that they are not allowed to transfer their license as part of a sale to a new owner.
A proposed ordinance before the council’s Committee on Finance would have enabled retailers to include their license as part of a business transaction, even if the store was near a school or exceeded the cap on retailers in a certain area. During the hearing, several business owners told the council was one of the most valuable parts of their stores, with the rules driving down the price they could get in a sale.
Additionally, current rules enacted in 2016 prevent the opening of a tobacco retailer within 500 feet of a school and place a cap on the number of retailers in a certain area, based on the existing number per 1,000 residents. Those restrictions remain in place after the committee’s vote.