Tobacco Retail Sales Licensing

New Regulations Pertaining to Tobacco Retailers in Wheat Ridge- Effective July 1, 2021

On April 12, 2021, Wheat Ridge City Council approved Ordinance No. 1710, which includes new licensing and operational regulations requiring retailers selling tobacco or nicotine products in Wheat Ridge to apply and pay for an annual license.

Applications Open on Monday, May 17, 2021 Apply for a Tobacco Retail Sales License

Changes to Licensing

Under the new regulations, tobacco retailers are required to obtain a Tobacco Retailer License. The fee schedule is:

  • $300 for new licenses 
  • $250 for annual license renewals 

Beginning July 1, 2021, new licenses will be active for up to 18 months through December 31, 2022. Renewals or new licenses approved after December 31, 2022 will continue on a one year cycle (January 1 - December 31). 

All Tobacco Retail License fee payments can be made by check when mailed, and by check, cash or credit when completed in person at City Hall. Checks should be made out to: City of Wheat Ridge Tax Division, PO Box: 7500 W. 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

This license is in addition to a City of Wheat Ridge Business License ($20 Fee). Tobacco retailers must be in full compliance by July 1, 2021. Any business that submits the license application form by July 1, 2021 will be considered compliant. 

This license is in addition to the forthcoming State of Colorado Tobacco Retail License program. Please check the Colorado Department of Revenue webpage for more information.

Read more about Wheat Ridge and smoking restrictions per Ordinance 1584 

Ordinance 1584 Smoking in Public Places 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tobacco Retail License?

The purpose of the Tobacco Retail License is to regulate the purchase and sale of tobacco products. Tobacco products are defined as any product which contains, is made or derived from tobacco or used to deliver nicotine, synthetic nicotine or other substances intended for human consumption, whether heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed or ingested by any other means, including, but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff, nicotine product, mints, hand gels. This includes electronic smoking devices but does not include any product that contains marijuana.

Are any businesses where tobacco is sold exempt from these licensing regulations?

No. All tobacco retailers must obtain a Tobacco Retail License.  

The ordinance includes a 1000' buffer for schools and youth-oriented facilities.  What does that mean for my business?

All tobacco retailers that apply after July 1, 2021, will be subject to a 1000' distance requirement from a school or youth-oriented facility (park, playground, or City-owned recreation facility). However, tobacco retailers that are currently located within 1000 feet of a school or youth-oriented facility and apply for their license by July 1, 2021, will be grandfathered in and eligible to be licensed. Please see the Tobacco Retailer Map on the City webpage to determine if your business is within 1000 feet of a school or youth-oriented facility.

What are the reasons my application could be denied?  

A Tobacco Retail License application can be denied for the following reasons:  

  • The tobacco retailer does not have a City Business License in good standing.
  • The tobacco retailer applies for a license after July 1, 2021, and is located within 1000 feet of a school or youth-oriented facility.
  • The tobacco retail business has been dormant for more than one year and is within 1000 feet of a school or youth-oriented facility.
  • If the Tobacco Retailer’s licensed has been revoked within the last two years. The Retailer can re-apply two years after the revocation of a license.

What requirements are included in the new regulations that are effective July 1, 2021?

While the list below includes the most common requirements, for a complete list, please see Sections 11-233 through 11-239 of the new regulations 

  • Signage regarding the minimum legal sales age of 21 must be posted in accordance with Section 11-233(f) (page 5 of the ordinance).
  • Additional signage, such as a current City-issued Tobacco Retail License Certificate, must be prominently displayed on the premises.
  • No person who is younger than 18 years of age shall sell, stock, retrieve, or other otherwise handle tobacco products.
  • Self-service displays are prohibited (except for retail tobacco specialty businesses)
  • All tobacco product retailing must take place at a fixed location. Mobile vending, to include the delivery of tobacco products, is prohibited.
  • Tobacco product retailing is prohibited within 1000 feet of schools and youth-oriented facilities. Current tobacco retailers that are in good standing and apply for their license by July 1, 2021, will be grandfathered in and are eligible to be licensed. All tobacco retailers that apply after July 1, 2021, will be subject to the 1000-foot distance requirement.

What does Compliance, Penalties and Enforcement look like?

You can find details regarding the compliance, penalty structure and enforcement process in Sections 11-241 to 243 of the ordinance.  The Wheat Ridge Police Department will conduct two compliance checks per year. Violations result in penalties as follows:

Violation 

Penalty (within a three-year period)

1st

$500 fine

2nd

License suspended for seven (7) days

3rd

License suspended for thirty (30) days

4th

License suspended for one (1) year

5th

License revoked; ineligible to apply for two (2) years



Who do I contact with questions?

Please contact the City Licensing Technician at license@ci.wheatridge.co.us with any questions or to provide feedback on these new regulations.