Vape Shop Denied Business License Under New Columbia Rule


0
Vape Shop Denied Business License Under New Columbia Rule
Vape Shop Denied Business License Under New Columbia Rule

Vape Shop Denied Business License Under New Columbia Rule

In a recent decision by the Columbia City Council, a vape shop has been denied a business license due to a new rule that restricts where vape shops can set up their operations. The shop, AJ 7 Stars Tobacco & Vape, had been operating on Gervais Street since March 2022 but failed to obtain the necessary city business license. The owner, Ali Saleem, claimed that he was unaware that his accountant had not obtained the license until seven months later.

Upon discovering the issue, Saleem promptly applied for a license at City Hall. However, City Council was already considering an ordinance that prohibited vape shops from opening within 1,000 feet of each other, as well as in close proximity to schools, churches, parks, daycares, and community centers. The rule was ultimately approved, leading to the denial of Saleem’s business license application because his shop was within 500 feet of two other vape shops.

Saleem’s attorney argued for an exception based on the fact that the shop had been operating for several months and that the delay in obtaining the license was a timing issue. However, the committee of three council members upheld the decision, stating that Saleem’s business did not exist in city records until his application was submitted after the new rule was being considered.

Despite the denial, Saleem expressed uncertainty about relocating the shop due to his other stores in the area. He may choose to appeal the decision through the courts. This denial of a business license is part of a broader crackdown on vape stores by the city, with the intention of preventing certain areas, like Five Points, from being overrun and maintaining redevelopment efforts.

Vape shop owners and tattoo artists, who face similar restrictions, have voiced concerns regarding the limited available locations for their businesses. They argue that as the city aims to attract more business, it simultaneously restricts their ability to operate. This contradiction between encouraging economic development and denying business licenses has sparked criticism.

As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how the vape shop and tattoo industries will navigate these restrictions. The decision by the Columbia City Council has implications not only for these businesses but also for the broader economic landscape of the city.

Comments

comments


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *