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.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.