All retailers must get license to sell tobacco products by Jan. 1, 2022
The application for businesses to apply for the state’s new tobacco retail license is now available.
The Oregon Department of Revenue opened the application portal for businesses to apply for a tobacco retail license on Dec. 1. By Jan. 1, 2022, retailers in Oregon must have a tobacco retail license to sell tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems – also known as “e-cigarettes” or “vape” – to consumers, per Senate Bill 587.
Retailers can get an annual license for $953 through Revenue Online on the Department of Revenue Statewide Tobacco Retail License website. The fee is set annually to support the cost of running the licensing program, educating retailers and conducting compliance checks.
There are three exceptions to the license requirement: Retailers operating on tribal lands do not need a license. Retailers licensed by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission or the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to sell inhalant delivery systems without nicotine do not need a license. Retailers in jurisdictions that already had their own tobacco retail license program may be required to continue to apply with their local jurisdiction. See the Statewide Tobacco Retail License website for details.
“It’s still too easy for young people to get their hands on tobacco in Oregon,” said Rachael Banks, director of the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “This license is a necessary next step to protect the next generation from nicotine addiction.”
The new tobacco retail license requirement gives the state more enforcement authority to ensure that businesses follow tobacco laws, including not selling to people younger than 21. Studies show that nearly 90% of people who use tobacco start before they turn 18, and experience from other states, shows that tobacco retail licensing can reduce youth access to tobacco. Oregon was previously one of only seven states that didn’t require a tobacco retail license.
The Department of Revenue will begin checking that retailers have a license in January. Penalties may be issued to those who are not licensed. OHA public health educational visits on tobacco sales laws will also begin in the new year, and compliance checks – and associated penalties – will begin July 1, 2022.