The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved a $580 tobacco license fee
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved a $580 tobacco license fee Doug Brown

Businesses in Multnomah County that want to sell tobacco products are now required to fork over $580 per year for a license, thanks to a unanimous vote this morning by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. A package containing a license application and information about the licensing procedures will be sent to 1,000 businesses today.

"Our goal is to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors" and not shutting retailers down, said county chair Deborah Kafoury

The measure to establish a tobacco license was approved last year by the board. The specific $580 annual license fee was formally approved at the board of commissioners meeting this morning.

It applies to all the traditional tobacco products—cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, chewing tobacco, etc.—as well as well as electronic cigarettes, "vape juice," and "any inhalant delivery systems containing or delivering nicotine."

The county expects 875 licenses to be issued, starting July 1, which will bring in an estimated $507,500 per year. That money will fund an equivalent of 4.1 full time employees whose jobs it will be to check to make sure businesses aren't selling to minors.

Here's the penalty structure for licensed businesses caught selling tobacco products to minors:

•First violation: $500 fine and mandatory training.
•Second violation within five years: $500 fine and a suspended license for 30 days.
•Third violation within five years: $750 fine and a suspended license for 90 days.
•Fourth violation within five years: $1,000 fine and a revoked license for two years.

For more information, check out the county's page on tobacco licensing, and read the document below: