[§245-2.5] Retail tobacco permit. (a) Beginning December 1, 2006, every retailer engaged in the retail sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products upon which a tax is required to be paid under this chapter shall obtain a retail tobacco permit.
(b) Beginning March 1, 2007, it shall be unlawful for any retailer engaged in the retail sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products upon which a tax is required to be paid under this chapter to sell, possess, keep, acquire, distribute, or transport cigarettes or other tobacco products for retail sale unless a retail tobacco permit has been issued to the retailer under this section and the retail tobacco permit is in full force and effect.
(c) The retail tobacco permit shall be issued by the department upon application by the retailer in the form and manner prescribed by the department, and the payment of a fee of $20. Permits shall be valid for one year, from December 1 to November 30, and renewable annually. Whenever a retail tobacco permit is defaced, destroyed, or lost, or the permittee relocates the permittee's business, the department may issue a duplicate retail tobacco permit to the permittee for a fee of $5 per copy.
(d) A separate retail tobacco permit shall be obtained for each place of business owned, controlled, or operated by a retailer. A retailer that owns or controls more than one place of business may submit a single application for more than one retail tobacco permit. Each retail tobacco permit issued shall clearly describe the place of business where the operation of the business is conducted.
(e) Any entity that operates as a dealer or wholesaler and also sells cigarettes or other tobacco products to consumers at retail shall acquire a separate retail tobacco permit.
(f) A retail tobacco permit shall be nonassignable and nontransferable from one entity to another entity. A retail tobacco permit may be transferred from one business location to another business location after an application has been filed with the department requesting that transfer and approval has been obtained from the department.
(g) A retail tobacco permit issued under this section shall be displayed at all times in a conspicuous place at the place of business requiring the retail tobacco permit.
(h) Any sales of cigarettes or tobacco products made through a cigarette or tobacco product vending machine are subject to the terms, conditions, and penalties of this chapter. A retail tobacco permit need not be displayed on cigarette or tobacco product vending machines if the retail tobacco permit holder is the owner of the cigarette or tobacco product vending machines and the cigarette or tobacco product vending machines are operated at the location described in the retail tobacco permit.
(i) No retailer shall purchase any pack of cigarettes without the appropriate tax stamp being affixed to the bottom of the pack as required by this chapter.
(j) A vehicle from which cigarettes or tobacco products are sold is considered a place of business and requires a retail tobacco permit. Retail tobacco permits for a vehicle shall be issued bearing a specific motor vehicle identification number and are valid only when physically carried in the vehicle having the corresponding motor vehicle identification number. Retail tobacco permits for vehicles shall not be moved from one vehicle to another.
(k) A permittee shall be subject to the inspection and investigation requirements of this chapter and shall provide the department or the attorney general with any information deemed necessary to verify compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
(l) A permittee shall keep a complete and accurate record of the permittee's cigarette or tobacco product inventory. The records shall:
(A) A written statement containing the name and address of the permittee's source of its cigarettes and tobacco products;
(B) The date of delivery, quantity, trade name or brand, and price of the cigarettes and tobacco products; and
(C) Documentation in the form of any purchase orders, invoices, bills of lading, other written statements, books, papers, or records in whatever format, including electronic format, which substantiate the purchase or acquisition of the cigarettes and tobacco products stored or offered for sale; and
(2) Be offered for inspection and examination within twenty-four hours of demand by the department or the attorney general, and shall be preserved for a period of three years; provided that:
(A) Specified records may be destroyed if the department and the attorney general both consent to their destruction within the three-year period; and
(B) Either the department or the attorney general may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 that require specified records to be kept longer than a period of three years.
(m) The department may suspend or, after hearing, revoke or decline to renew any retail tobacco permit issued under this chapter whenever the department finds that the applicant or permittee has failed to comply with this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, or for any other good cause. Good cause includes but is not limited to instances where an applicant or permittee has:
(1) Submitted a false or fraudulent application or provided a false statement in an application; or
(2) Possessed or displayed a false or fraudulent retail tobacco permit.
Upon suspending or revoking any retail tobacco permit, the department shall request that the permittee immediately surrender any retail tobacco permit or duplicate issued to the permittee, and the permittee shall surrender the permit or duplicate promptly to the department as requested.
(n) Whenever the department suspends, revokes, or declines to renew a retail tobacco permit, the department shall notify the applicant or permittee immediately and afford the applicant or permittee a hearing, if requested and if a hearing has not already been afforded. After the hearing, the department shall:
(1) Rescind its order of suspension;
(2) Continue the suspension;
(3) Revoke the retail tobacco permit;
(4) Rescind its order of revocation;
(5) Decline to renew the retail tobacco permit; or
(6) Renew the retail tobacco permit.
(o) Any cigarette, package of cigarettes, carton of cigarettes, container of cigarettes, tobacco product, package of tobacco products, or any container of tobacco products unlawfully sold, possessed, kept, stored, acquired, distributed, or transported in violation of this section may be seized and ordered forfeited pursuant to chapter 712A. [L 2005, c 131, pt of §1, §9(2); am L 2009, c 30, §2]