The City Council of the City of Bellechester do ordain as follows:
- No person shall keep for retail sale, sell at retail or otherwise dispose of any tobacco product at any place in the City without first obtaining a license from the City. “Tobacco” is defined as and includes: cigarettes; cigars; cheroots; stogies; perique; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; Cavendish; plug and twist cut tobacco; fine cut and chewing tobacco; shorts, refuse scraps, clippings, cutting and sweeping tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco, prepared in such a manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or other tobacco-related devices.
- The annual license for a retail tobacco license shall be $30.00 per year. All retail tobacco licenses shall be valid for one calendar year from the date the license is issued.
- Every license shall be conspicuously posted at the place for which the license was issued and shall be exhibited to any person upon request.
- Sales Prohibited to Minors.
No person shall sell or offer to sell any tobacco or tobacco product to any person under eighteen (18) years of age.
- Administrative Penalties
- If a licensee sells tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years or violates any other provision of this Ordinance, the licensee shall be charged an administrative penalty of $75.00. An administrative penalty of $200.00 must be imposed for a second violation at the same location within 24 hours after the initial violation. For a third violation at the same location within 24 months after the initial violation, an administrative penalty of $250.00 must be imposed, and the licensee’s authority to sell tobacco at that location must be suspended for not less than seven (7) days. No suspension or penalty may take effect until the licensee has received notice, served personally or by mail, of the alleged violation and an opportunity for a hearing before a person authorized by the City to conduct the hearing.
- An individual who sells tobacco to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years must be charged an administrative penalty of $50.00. No penalty may be imposed until the individual has received notice, served personally or by mail, of the alleged violation and an opportunity for a hearing before a person authorized by the City to conduct the hearing.
- It is an affirmative defense to the charge of selling tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years in violation of this Ordinance that the licensee or individual making the sale relied in good faith upon proof of age as follows:
- A valid drivers license or identification card issued by the State of Minnesota, another state, or a province of Canada, and including the photograph and date of birth of the licensed person; or
- A valid military identification card issued by the United States Department of Defense; or
- In the case of a foreign national, from a nation other than Canada, by a valid passport.
- Self-Service Sales.
- No licensee shall offer for sale single packages of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in open displays which are accessible to the public without the intervention of a store employee.
- Cartons and other multi-pack units may be offered and sold through open displays accessible to the public.
- Section 4(B) of the ordinance will expire upon the effective date and implementation of Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Part 897.16(c).
- The self-service restrictions described in this Section 4 shall not apply to retail stores which derive at least 90% of their revenue from tobacco and tobacco-related products and which cannot be entered at any times by persons younger than 18 years of age.
- Vending Machines
No person shall sell tobacco products from vending machines. This section does not apply to vending machines in facilities that cannot be entered by persons younger than 18 years of age.
- Compliance Checks
The City shall conduct unannounced compliance checks at least once each calendar year at each location where tobacco is sold to test compliance with Minnesota Statutes Section 609.685. Compliance checks shall utilize minors over the age of 15 but under the age of 18, who, with prior written consent of a parent or guardian, attempt to purchase tobacco under the direct supervision of a law enforcement officer or an employee of a licensing authority.
This Ordinance shall become effective after its passage and publication.
Dated January 8, 1998.
ATTEST: Barbara Heppelmann, Clerk Edward T. Heppelmann, Mayor
Published in the New/Record Wednesday, January 21, 1998.