Chicago tobacco sellers with past convictions for selling drug paraphernalia could lose their tobacco retailer licenses under a plan being pushed by a Lakeview alderman who hopes to thin out a dense collection of “head shops” he said are drawing the ire of neighboring businesses.
Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, has proposed an ordinance that would prohibit the city from issuing or renewing a license to sell tobacco to anyone who sells tobacco accessories who has a felony conviction in the past 5 years for selling drug paraphernalia.
The City Council License Committee approved Tunney’s plan today. It will head to the full City Council for consideration next week.
Tunney said business owners around Clark and Belmont have complained to him in recent years that they don’t want to operate near the stores.
The ordinance would also require shops selling tobacco accessories to report to the city how much shelf space they devote to the products, and the percentage of their total sales that come from the accessories. Tunney said those new reporting requirements will help the city get a handle on what goes on in the stores.