Smoking and Alcohol Together Again
Cigar lounges in Arizona get a huge win as of September 30th, 2008 as the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned the Maricopa County Superior Court blocking the sales of alcohol in retail tobacco establishments, also known as cigar lounges.
These rulings take place after Smoke Free Arizona had taken Magnums Cigar, Wine, and Liquor Emporium (review coming soon) to court for violation of the voter approved Smoke-Free act (2006).
However the act had many exceptions, one specifically stating:
“…if the retail store derives the majority of its sales from tobacco products and accessories…”
As judge John Gemmill reviewed the case presented to him – his final decision came to the following:
“Although the act specifies that the majority of a retail tobaccos store’s sales must be from tobacco products and accessories, it places no restrictions on the source of the other 49.9 percent sales.”
Thus setting a ruling in court (the law had never defined if it was legal or not), which will now apply to all retail tobacco establishments – your Arizona cigar lounge can now sell alcohol.
Smoke Free Arizona was the organization was known for aggressive gorilla like tactics such as sending in workers to issue citations during peak lounge hours; something that was done on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. While issuing the shop owner the citations Smoke Free Arizona would also threaten some of the visitors of the establishment by letting them know they were breaking the law and subject to fines.
The biggest “bullet” they had in their arsenal was the threat of going to court. A very long drawn out court battle, knowing that most small shops would not have the time, or the means, to sustain such a drawn-out battle and ultimately causing the cigar lounge to close down regardless.
Your power and threats to cigar lounges, Smoke Free Arizona, has now been removed.
puffingcigars.com Note: Thanks to Magnums cigar lounge for taking the time, effort, and money to fight and obtain a ruling that everyone will benefit from. Magnums have reportedly spent (in the neighborhood) 100,000 dollars in court.
The fighting does not stop here because the Smoke-Free Act can be amended; however to do so would require a supermajority of legislators to agree upon the changes (a difficult task).
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