Some California Tobacco Retailers May Face License Requirement

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If local officials have their way, the city's 855 tobacco retailers will have to obtain a city license to sell tobacco products. The San Jose City Council voted 9-to-2 on Nov. 16 to prepare an ordinance setting the requirement, a measure that could be adopted at the council's Dec. 14 meeting, according to The Mercury News.

The $450-a-year license would cover the cost of ensuring compliance with state and local restrictions, the newspaper reported. Such restrictions include the prohibition against selling to children and limits on product displays.

However, not everyone is in favor of the move. Charles Janigian, president of the California Association of Retail Tobacconists, said the proposed local licensing duplicates state law, according to The Mercury News. The newspaper also reported that Councilman Pete Constant -- one of two members to vote against the measure -- said the move would burden businesses during these tough economic times.

Officials in Santa Clara County adopted its own licensing program, with the Board of Supervisors slated to take give final approval this month.

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