|11/26/2021 2:17:00 PM|
Vape/tobacco store shut down in NB
The North Branch council expressed zero surprise at a recent council session when an agenda item called for consideration of revoking a license for a vaping/tobacco store. When issuing a business license last August council had no legal option to deny at that time, it was stated. By October— police had received a complaint about underage sales of products and after an investigation, a citation was issued.
The matter was on the council agenda to decide the fine and/or other action the city would impose. According to Council member Amanda Darwin, as the council voted 5-0 to revoke the license and shutdown the business, “We knew we were being lied to (back in August)...it is no surprise this has happened.”
Mayor Jim Swenson took aim at licensee Jacob Willinbring, who Swenson said has not responded to legal issues personally, “...the chief hasn’t heard from him” or offered to talk with council.
An employee of Minnesota Tobacco and Vape appeared at the council meeting and tried to explain she had no clue the I.D. that was used by the minor-aged customer had been forged.
She added, the male minor-aged customer had frequented the store multiple times before the citation. His parents were waiting outside the door as he exited with his purchases, she told council.
She admitted to not carding the customer that particular time last month. She added that she wished the parents had alerted her to not sell to their son, because they seemed to know about his illegal patronage.
Chief of Police Meyer advised council that the licensee is still responsible. Willinbring led the city to believe there would be no staff retained from an earlier store operation, when different owners were cited and closed for violations. This newly cited employee was indeed, a carryover staffer. Also, interviewing the clerk it was learned there had been sparse training in the laws surrounding sales of devices, etc.