Wed, 24 Feb 2021
Oakville Town Council approved on Monday night that retailers selling vaping products must have a licence. Amendments to By-law 2015-075, a by-law that requires a number of businesses to have a licence to operate within the town, will now include electronic cigarette and vapour retailers. Retailers selling vaping products are required to apply for a tobacco/electronic cigarette retailer licence from the town starting on March 1, 2021.
Any person applying for a tobacco/electronic cigarette retailer licence will be required to comply with zoning and insurance requirements, pass a health inspection, provide business documents and confirm compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA). The new licensing requirement will allow the town to ensure SFOA requirements are tracked and complied with and includes a progressive enforcement regime that can result in the revocation of a tobacco/e-cigarette retail licence if the retailer fails to comply with the SFOA.
“A new licensing category for e-cigarette and vapour product retailers will assist the town and Halton Region Public Health to more effectively coordinate enforcement and track non-compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Retailers not complying with the act will have their licence suspended on a second violation and revoked on a third. This will help provide adequate town oversight of this business class.”
Under the by-law, the same fee structure for stores selling tobacco goods will be applied for retailers selling vaping products. Existing and new businesses selling e-cigarettes or other vaping products would be required to pay a $191 licence fee, and a $191 annual renewal free.
Amendments to By-law 2015-075 will see regulations for vapour and e-cigarette retailers integrated into the existing tobacconist licensing class. This alignment seemed natural as tobacco retailers are regulated under the SFOA. Therefore, the general requirements for the vapour and e-cigarette retailers will be the same as the existing tobacconist consisting of insurance, zoning, health department inspection and business corporate documents.
Oakville will be joining cities like Toronto, Hamilton and London, which already have by-laws requiring licenses for businesses selling vaping products.
In June 2019, Oakville Town Council directed staff to include the licensing and regulation of businesses selling vapour (vape, e-cigarette) products within the Town of Oakville as part of the Licensing By-law Housekeeping Review, to be brought back to Council by the first quarter of 2020. Although Licensing By-law 2015-075 is currently under review, staff do not anticipate the final version of the by-law to be presented to Council until later this year. In order to meet the direction from Council and align with the recent Region of Halton smoking and vaping in public places by-law, a proposed amendment to the licensing by-law was drafted for the consideration of Council last night.
To review the proposed by-law, please review the February 22 Council meeting agenda item 10.