There will be no new tobacco retailer licenses issued in St. Paul, Minn., as on Wednesday the city council approved an ordinance that will cap the number at 242, which is how many are currently issued.
Any new retailer wishing to sell tobacco products in the city will have to wait for a license to become available, such as by way of the closure of a store holding one.
The move was opposed by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), who in a letter sent to the council by Thomas Briant, executive director and legal counsel, called the ordinance “unnecessary as the cumulative impact of the city’s flavored tobacco restrictions coupled with the expected significant decrease in tobacco product sales once the menthol cigarette and mint and wintergreen tobacco product sales restrictions take effect on November 1st will result in store closures reducing the number of stores in the city.”
The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days, with establishments or locations holding licenses on July 1, 2018, or with an application of a license pending on July 1, 2018, that is ultimately granted shall not be affected by this limitation, but shall be entitled to have such licenses renewed or new license granted, subject to several conditions.
St. Paul is home to approximately 303,000 residents and is best known for being one half of the “Twin Cities” along with Minneapolis.