Tobacco Retail

Tobacco Retail

TOBACCO RETAILERS ORDINANCE
IN SAN LEANDRO

 

Fees for 2020 Tobacco Retailer's Licenses are due.

TO APPLY FOR OR RENEW A CITY OF SAN LEANDRO TOBACCO RETAILERS LICENSE, CLICK HERE :

https://www.slblrenewal.org/Home/Home/TRL

Note: In November 2019, all San Leandro tobacco retailers were mailed a letter containing their business license number and account pin. This information is required to complete the online application process. 

Ordinance Background

On October 16, 2017, the City Council adopted a local ordinance outlined in Municipal Code (Chapter 4-36) that requires tobacco retailers selling tobacco and related products in San Leandro to obtain a Tobacco Retailer’s License (TRL) from the City. The ordinance also established various regulations related to the retail sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, including new requirements related to package sizes, pricing, and restrictions on the sale of flavored products. The City Council passed a resolution on July 16, 2018 establishing a $500 annual fee per local Tobacco Retail License.

The City began issuing TRLs and collecting the $500 fee in November 2018. Prior to December 31, 2018, tobacco retailers were only required to have a valid tobacco license from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (previously administered by the State Board of Equalization) in lieu of a TRL from the City. In the event that the tobacco retailer is selling only electronic cigarettes or electronic cigarette products, a tobacco license from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is not required.

Effective January 1, 2019, all tobacco retailers in San Leandro are required to have:

  1. a City of San Leandro business license
  2. a City of San Leandro TRL
  3. a tobacco license from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in order to sell tobacco and related products in San Leandro. 

An on-line application process similar to the one used for businesses licenses has been developed is available for retailers. Retailers must apply and pay for the City’s 2019 TRL by December 1, 2018. The Code requires retailers to pay no less than 30 days before January 1st of each year. 


Additional Resources 

 

About Flavored Tobacco Products

ARE “FLAVORED TOBACCO PRODUCTS” PROHIBITED FOR SALE IN SAN LEANDRO?  
Yes. Effective August 15, 2018, tobacco and tobacco products with a distinguishable taste or aroma are prohibited for sale in the City of San Leandro, with the exception of menthol-flavored cigarettes, which may continue to be sold. 

Flavored tobacco products are defined as any tobacco product (other than cigarettes as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) that contain a constituent that imparts a characterizing flavor. This includes cigars, little cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking devices. Rolling papers, blunt wraps, hemp wraps or other products used to smoke tobacco products, but which themselves do not contain tobacco, are not considered a tobacco product. To assist in determining what products may be considered flavored, please click here. Please note this list is not comprehensive and is only meant to serve as a point of reference. For more information, please refer to the additional resources section above, including the expanded list of frequently asked questions.

ARE FLAVORED SMOKING CESSATION PRODUCTS ALSO PROHIBITED?
If the product is FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approved, the product is not prohibited. A list of FDA approved products is available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/index.cfm?event=browseByLetter.page&productLetter=A&ai=0

Products that are marketed for smoking cessation that are NOT FDA approved include Zyn and Zonnic. 

 

EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED FLAVORED TOBACCO PRODUCTS

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobacco Retailer's License Information

WHAT IS A TOBACCO RETAILER’S LICENSE (TRL)?  
A TRL is a license issued pursuant to San Leandro Municipal Code section 4-36-300 that authorizes electronic-cigarette or tobacco retailing at a certain location and by a certain tobacco retailer.

HOW DO I OBTAIN A TOBACCO RETAILER’S LICENSE?  
Information will be sent to currently licensed tobacco retailers (as determined by the City or the CA Stated Board of Equalization) and electronic cigarette retailers. Tobacco retailers will obtain a TRL by visiting the City’s on-line registration program, or applying through the Finance Department’s Business Licensing Division. 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO OBTAIN A TRL?  
The application fee for a TRL in the City of San Leandro is $500 per year. The resolution was discussed and passed at the July 16, 2018 Council meeting.

HOW LONG IS A TRL VALID FOR?  
A TRL is valid for 1 calendar year between January 1 – December 31 and must be renewed no less than 30 days before the date of expiration.

IS MY TRL TRANSFERRABLE?
No. A TRL may not be transferred from one person to another or one location to another. A new TRL is required whenever a tobacco retailing location has a change in proprietor(s).

WHAT IF MY TRL EXPIRES BEFORE I RENEW IT?  
You may not sell any tobacco or related products without a valid TRL. Applicants must submit the license fee, renewal form and signed affidavit affirming the proprietor and have a new license issued before they may continue to sell tobacco or related products.

IF I OWN MORE THAN 1 BUSINESS IN SAN LEANDRO AND WANT TO SELL TOBACCO PRODUCTS, DO I NEED SEPARATE TRLs FOR EACH LOCATION?  
Yes.  A separate TRL is required for each location where tobacco and related products are sold.

WHAT WILL THE $500 TRL FEE BE USED FOR?  
The $500 TRL fee will be used to recover the cost of administration and enforcement of Chapter 4-36 of the San Leandro Municipal Code, to include issuing a license, retailer inspections, compliance checks, and documentation and enforcement.
 


Other Frequently Asked Questions

WILL TOBACCO RETAILERS BE OFFERED TRAINING REGARDING SAN LEANDRO’S NEW LAWS?  
Yes. Free training classes will be offered to all tobacco retailers periodically, or approximately once a year. Licensed retailers will be notified in advance of upcoming classes.  The SLPD will also be available throughout the year to answer questions that tobacco retailers may have about the sale of tobacco and related products in San Leandro.

HOW MANY COMPLIANCE CHECKS WILL THE POLICE DO EACH YEAR?  
The San Leandro Police Department will conduct at least 3 compliance checks per licensed tobacco retailer per year. These may include undercover decoy operations.

CAN MY TRL BE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED?  IF THIS HAPPENS, DO I HAVE APPEAL RIGHTS?
Yes, TRLs may be suspended or revoked and the license holder retains appeal rights. If the licensee contacts the City to challenge the finding of a violation, the City shall provide written notice of a hearing, at which the tobacco retailer may show cause why a violation does not exist. Should the tobacco retailer fail to present evidence at such hearing establishing, in the reasonable determination of the hearing officer, that a violation does not exist, written notice will be provided to the tobacco retailer that the notice of violation is upheld.

DO I ALSO HAVE TO MAINTAIN A VALID LICENSE FROM THE CA STATE DEPT OF TAX AND FEE ADMINISTRATION?  
Yes. Before applying for a City of San Leandro TRL, you must first also obtain any necessary licenses from California’s State Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration. 

ARE THESE LICENSES REQUIRED IN ADDITION TO MY CITY OF SAN LEANDRO BUSINESS LICENSE?  
Yes. To be in compliance and sell tobacco products, you must maintain a valid City of San Leandro business license, a TRL and any necessary licenses from the California’s State Board of Equalization.


Program Goals

San Leandro’s goal, through education and partnership, is to have all tobacco retailers in San Leandro in compliance with this new ordinance before its effective date of August 15, 2018. To establish a partnership with businesses in San Leandro around the new Ordinance, two information sessions scheduled at City Hall took place for tobacco retailers.


For additional questions regarding this program, please contact Alice Kim, Communications Manager at akim@sanleandro.org.