St. Paul Looks to Ban More Things

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The city of St. Paul is looking to implement two new regulations that will give businesses within its boundaries a number of headaches.

In the latest tobacco related regulatory drive in Minnesota, St. Paul is considering expanding its ban on flavored tobacco from certain store shelves. The Pioneer Press reports that menthol, mint, wintergreen, and fruit flavored tobacco products may soon be restricted to adult-only tobacco shops. Currently those products are also eligible to be sold at non-tobacco specific stores, such as convenience stores.

The measure is sponsored or co-sponsored by six of the seven members of the St. Paul City Council, reports the Pioneer Press. Only Council Member Chris Tolbert has yet to sign on to the bill. Minneapolis passed a similar measure earlier this year, and St. Paul already restricts a number of products to the adult only tobacco stores, including pineapple flavored cigarillos, strawberry flavored chewing tobacco, and apple e-juice.

A public hearing will be held Wednesday evening, with a vote likely to follow on Sept. 27.

Another measure being considered is related to a more universally engaged in industry.

KSTP reports another ordinance amendment  proposed St. Paul City Council would ban restaurants from using food containers which cannot either be recycled, composted, or reused. The first reading of this proposal is also scheduled for the City Council’s Wednesday meeting.

Aside from being an annoyance to business owners, this move could have severe financial implications. One business owner told KSTP that the change in containers could cost his business up to $120,000, as the types of containers that would meet the new regulations are much more expensive than the ones currently in use.

This resolution may have somewhat less support on the City Council, as Council Member Dan Bostrom spoke out against the proposal in an interview with KSTP, saying that now is not the right time to implement such a ban.

Anders Koskinen