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Tobacco Retailer License

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**PLEASE NOTE, as of September 2019, you must obtain a Planning Entitlement from the Planning Division before applying for a Tobacco Retail License. You can find a copy of the application and additional information regarding the process by clicking on the link: Planning Entitlement Application **


Image of Tobacco Retailer Map Application

The City of Sacramento Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance incorporated a 1,000-foot proximity requirement, requiring new tobacco retailers operating in the city limits, be more than 1,000-feet away from an existing tobacco retailer. The Tobacco Retail License Web Mapping Application is a tool to help determine if a specific location or specific tobacco retailer meets the 1,000-foot requirement.

Disclaimer: The map and data are provided for informational purposes only and may differ from official records used to determine the affected properties if and when the ordinance is approved.

About the Tobacco Retailer License Program

The Tobacco Retailer License Program is aimed to decrease the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors within the city. As part of the program, code compliance staff conducts annual inspections of tobacco retailer establishments, responds to complaints, and coordinates decoy operations with the Sacramento Police Department. More information about the city code establishing the program is available here.

To apply for the Tobacco Retailer License

  1. Fill out the Tobacco Retailer License Application

  2. Write a check or money order in the amount of $370 payable to the City of Sacramento.

  3. Submit the application and payment in person at the Community Development Public Counter, 300 Richards Boulevard, 3rd Floor or mail the completed application and payment to: Code Enforcement, Tobacco Retailer License, 300 Richards Blvd., Third Floor, Sacramento, CA 95811

  4. Wait for approval. Upon approval, the license will be issued and mailed to the licensee.

  5. Please note: Payment for a tobacco retail license will no longer be accepted if it is not accompanied with a tobacco retail license application.

Annual renewal required

A tobacco retailer license fee in the amount of $370 and completed application are due annually. Current tobacco retailers will be mailed a renewal application and invoice about 60 days prior to license expiration. The fee and renewal application must either be mailed or dropped off per the instructions above.

Amendments to the Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance Effective January 1, 2020!

On April 16, 2018, the City of Sacramento voted to amend the Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance to strengthen regulations and reduce access of tobacco and tobacco products to person under the age of 21. The primary parts of the amendments prohibit the sale and distribution of all flavored tobacco and tobacco products, updated the definition of “tobacco product” to include electronic cigarettes and vaping products, and incorporated a 1,000-foot proximity requirement between tobacco retailers operating in city limits. 

What is the Flavored Tobacco Sales Ban?

The ban prohibits Tobacco Retail License holders from selling any tobacco product or byproduct, including but not limited to cigars, cigarillos, vape liquid, and hookah tobacco that imparts a characterizing flavor.
“Characterizing flavor” means a taste or aroma, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, imparted either prior to or during consumption of a tobacco product or any byproduct produced by the tobacco product, including, but not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to menthol, mint, wintergreen, fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcohol beverage, herb, or spice. 

When is the ban effective and how can I prepare now?

 City Council voted to enact the ordinance starting January 1, 2020 to provide tobacco retailers time to deplete flavored tobacco inventory. Discontinue ordering and restocking flavored tobacco products now to prevent losing your investment once the rules and regulations are enforced.

When will the City enforce the new law?

 Enforcement of the new law will commence January 1, 2020. Discontinue the sale of flavored tobacco products by January 1, 2020 to avoid suspension or revocation of your tobacco retail license.

Will the City of Sacramento help retailers implement the new law?

Yes. Education and outreach efforts began this year to help retailers comply with the flavored tobacco ban. Additional information will be provided by Code Enforcement Officers conducting compliance checks of tobacco retail locations operating in city limits. 

For additional information please review the FAQ:

Compliance Inspection Program

To promote compliance with Federal, State and local laws regulating the sale of tobacco products, the City of Sacramento conducts routing compliance inspections of tobacco retailers. The ultimately goal is to discourage the illegal sale of tobacco, tobacco products, and tobacco paraphernalia to person under the age of 21. 

To learn more about the City’s routine compliance inspection process, please review the documents below. Please call (916) 808-8038 and speak with a City representative or send an email to: