Tobacco Retail License Program

The Oregon state legislature passed a law in 2021 requiring all tobacco retailers to hold a Tobacco Retail License. Corvallis has had a tobacco retail license requirement at the local level since 1997, with Benton County and Philomath adopting tobacco retail license requirements soon after. In order to retain the local governance of the law, all jurisdictions within the county – including Adair Village, Corvallis, Monroe, Philomath, and unincorporated areas of Benton County – are now coming under a singular tobacco retail license program run by Benton County Health Department.

Any business that wants to be authorized to sell tobacco, vaping, and nicotine products in Benton County is required to get a tobacco retail license from the County Health Department. The licensing requirement is imposed on all retailers, including but not limited to:

  • convenience stores,
  • bars,
  • hotels,
  • restaurants,
  • gas stations, and
  • music venues.

Tobacco retail licensing allows the County to track where tobacco is being sold and ensure that retailers comply with federal, state, and local laws regulating the sale of tobacco, vaping, and nicotine products. This helps reduce youth access to tobacco in our community and makes stores healthier places for everyone to shop.

Requirements

  • The license must be displayed in a place where customers and staff can see it easily.
  • Each location must have its own license; if a business has multiple locations, each location must have a separate license.
  • The license may not be transferred to another location, or to someone else (such as to a new owner, should you sell your business).

A license will not be issued:

  • For a non-fixed location (e.g., kiosk, food truck, etc.).
  • For a temporary event (e.g., farmer’s market, fair, etc.).
  • At a location within 1,000 feet of a school.
  • At a location within 1,000 feet of another tobacco retailer.

Full details of the Tobacco Retail License requirements:

Education and Training

It is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure all employees are following tobacco regulations.

Benton County – Tobacco Retailer Training Manual (coming soon)
Tobacco Retailer Quiz (coming soon)

How to Apply or Renew

Renewal notices were sent to all currently licensed retailers on May 16, 2022. Processing has now begun for renewal applications and applications for new licenses. For questions, please contact us at TRLinfo@co.benton.or.us or 541-766-6652

Tobacco Retail License Application - English
Tobacco Retail License Application - Spanish

Submit your Tobacco Retail License application, along with the license fee payment to:

Benton County Health Department
ATTN: Tobacco Retail License Program
PO Box 579
Corvallis, OR 97339

OR

Drop off your Tobacco Retail License application in person, along with the license fee payment at:

Benton County Health Department
Tobacco Retail License Program
Sunset Building, second floor
4077 SW Research Way
Corvallis, OR 97339

Retailers must submit an application and fee for each business location that they operate.

Each year, retailers need to renew their tobacco retail license and pay the annual fee on or before June 30. Retailers that are found selling tobacco, vape, or nicotine products without a tobacco retailer license may be subject to civil penalties (See Penalties section).

Fee

The fee for the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 is $560.

The increased fee will cover the cost of the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the tobacco retail license program to state standards.

 

Inspections and Enforcement

Unannounced inspections by the Benton County Health Department will occur at least twice a year at each location. Penalties, fines, or revocation of licensure may occur if an inspector is not permitted to complete their inspection.

Annual inspections may include:

  • In store inspections to check for compliance with all federal, state, and local laws regulating the sale of tobacco, vaping, and nicotine products;
  • In store minimum legal sales age compliance checks to ensure retailers are not selling tobacco, vaping, and nicotine products to people under 21 years of age;
  • Complaint of violation inspections.

 

Penalties

If an inspector finds a retailer is out of compliance with any federal, state, or local tobacco retail laws, they will be subject to fines, penalties, or revocation of licensure.

Violation

Fines, penalties, or revocation of licensure

1st violation
  • $1,000 fine
2nd violation within a 60-month period of the 1st violation
  • $2,000 fine and license suspended for 45 days
  • The tobacco retailer may not sell tobacco products and must remove all tobacco products from all retail areas while the license is suspended

3rd violation within a 60-month period of the 1st violation
  • $3,500 fine and license revoked

  • The former licensee shall not be eligible to reapply for a license for 6 months from the date the licenses was revoked

  • The tobacco retailer may not sell tobacco products and must remove all tobacco products from all retail areas while the license is revoked

4th violation or any subsequent violation within a 60-month period of the 1st violation
  • $5,000 fine and license revoked

 

A retailer may be subject to multiple civil penalties at a single inspection if the County Health Department finds multiple violations.

In the case of an illegal sale of a tobacco product during a minimum sale age inspection, a retailer may be assessed a fine, license suspension or revocation without a remediation plan.

Any retailer that sells tobacco without a license shall be subject to a fine of $1,000 per day for each day the violation occurs.

 

Resources

 

Benton County Licensed Tobacco Retailers