Columbia City Council approves tobacco license for retailers
COLUMBIA- The Columbia City Council passed an ordinance Monday, that will require all tobacco retailers to register for a license starting on June 30.
The ordinance passed unanimously also includes sellers of alternative nicotine and vapor products. Applicants will be able to get a license at no cost but could be subject to inspections and compliance or random checks.
In addition to the ordinance, an amendment was passed that will increase the maximum fine for retailers to $5,000.
Language that would have required random checks was rejected because the council was unsure where the funding would come from.
“If you want to fix the problem, you have to let retailers be part of the solution,” said Curtis Chaney, a local retailer, who supports the ordinance.
Although the ordinance passed without much argument from the community, one resident suggested letting the city council enforce the ordinance alone could lead to favoritism among retailers.