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St. Paul, Minn. Approves Cap on Tobacco Retailers

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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 MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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