In November 2023, the City of Lawrence Commission unanimously adopted a new policy (Ordinance 9946) which codifies a tobacco retail licensing program. Consistent with other public health regulations and licensing, the policy endows Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health with the authority to manage the Tobacco Retail Licensing Program and administer related compliance checks. This page contains all the information local retailers will need to apply for this licensing and get into compliance.
Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health is committed to ensuring that all tobacco retailers are given the opportunity and resources needed to succeed under this new system, while also preventing tobacco sales to those under the age of 21.
The license fee can be paid online using the “Pay Fees” button at the bottom of the webpage or via check payable to: LDCPH c/o Retail Tobacco Licensing, 200 Maine Ste. B, Lawrence, KS 66044. Include the name of the business in the item description box on the online checkout or on the memo line if paying by check.
Responsibilities, Compliance, and Fines:
The Tobacco Retail License must be displayed publicly in the retail space.
Before selling or Distributing any Tobacco Product, the Tobacco Retailer or the Tobacco Retailer’s agent or employee shall verify that the purchaser of the Tobacco Product is at least 21 years of age. Each Tobacco Retailer or Tobacco Retailer’s agent or employee shall examine the purchaser’s government-issued photographic identification, which may include a driver's license, state identification card, passport, or military identification.
No such verification shall be required for any Person who reasonably appears to be over 30 years of age.Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health (LDCPH) shall have right of entry to all tobacco retailers during normal business hours. A tobacco retailer shall be subject to at least two unannounced compliance checks per year. Unannounced follow-up compliance checks of all non-compliant tobacco retailers are required within three months of any violation of this Article. The results of all compliance checks shall be published at least annually and made available to the public upon request, in compliance with applicable open records laws.
LDCPH has the authority to suspend this license for 7 days following a second violation, 30 days for a third violation, and 3 years for a fourth violation, convicted within a span of 36 months. LDCPH will also enact a fine of not less than $500 following a first violation, $750 following a second violation, $1,000 following a third violation, and $1,000 for a fourth or subsequent violations, convicted within a span of 36 months.