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Cigarette / Tobacco License


This license is for businesses selling or offering for sale at retail any tobacco. Tobacco includes electronic cigarettes containing or delivering nicotine for the purposes of licensing and regulation. For a complete definition of “tobacco,” see Section 324.03 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code.

Cigarette/Tobacco Retailer Requirement Update 

If you have questions, contact a DSI Project Facilitator at (651) 266-8989, or email the DSI Message Center.

Code Requirements

See Chapter 324 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for licensing information about selling cigarettes/tobacco.

Zoning Requirements:

Per section 65.535 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code a Tobacco Products Shop is defined as: A retail establishment with a principal entrance door opening directly to the outside that derives more than ninety (90) percent of its gross revenue from the sale of loose tobacco, plants, or herbs and cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking devices for burning tobacco and related smoking accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental. "Tobacco products shop" does not include a tobacco department or section of any individual business establishment with any type of liquor, food, or restaurant license.

Standards and conditions:

(a) No tobacco products shop shall be located within one-half (½) mile (2,640 feet) of another tobacco products shop.

(b) In the BC community business (converted) and T2 traditional neighborhood districts, a conditional use permit is required for tobacco products shops with a floor area greater than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet.

Application Requirements

You must submit the following:


Your application will be administratively reviewed by DSI Licensing, Zoning and Fire Inspection staff. This review may include on site inspections(s) to verify compliance with applicable regulations. You will be informed of any required inspections including the name and telephone number of the inspector after the submission of a completed license application. The location must be in compliance with all applicable regulations and/or license conditions before any license may be issued.


The annual fee for a Cigarette / Tobacco License is $431.00 per selling location or machine.

Expiration & Renewal

The Cigarette / Tobacco License will expire one year from date of issuance and may be renewed annually.

Penalties for Sales to Minors

See section 324.11 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for more detailed information about fines.

Licensee / Business Penalty Schedule

Clerk / Employee Penalty Schedule





First Offense


First Offense $50.00
Second Offense


Second Offense $50.00
Third Offense

30-day suspension of license

Fourth Offense

Revocation of license

Per Section 324.01(d) of the Legislative Code no license may be issued for a location or place of sale if a tobacco license previously issued for that location or place of sale has been revoked for any reason other than nonpayment of license fees within the past five (5) years. Certain exceptions may be granted by ordinance.
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