A late lawsuit was filed by a vape shop in the community of Prior Lake, Minnesota — a small exurb city near Minneapolis.
PRIOR LAKE, MN — Opened in 2020, Prior Lake Tobacco and Vape is suing the city of Prior Lake for banning flavored vaping products within one year of the company’s official opening. At least, that is what attorney V. John Ella, who is representing the vape store, said in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“My client’s very anxious because he’s losing money,” Ella said in a statement to Tribune reporter Erin Adler. “Without vaping, in today’s market, you just can’t make a profit in this business.”
The city’s ordinance banning the sale of flavored vape products took effect on August 15, prompting the lawsuit brought by the owners of Prior Lake Tobacco and Vape reports Adler. Like other municipal level bans across the United States, Prior Lake’s city government banned the sale of all flavors except for menthol.
The law is like the ban on flavored vaping products implemented by the Food and Drug Administration and the increase in the federal minimum legal sales age to 21 put in place by the administration of former US President Donald Trump. The legal sales age changed in December of 2019 and went into effect in January 2020, the following month after the policy.
Local news media reports indicate that the city of Prior Lake or the city’s attorney, Monte Mills, has refused to provide comment on the litigation. The courts suggest that counsel for the city has already responded to Prior Lake Tobacco and Vape’s complaint.
Counsel for the city has already filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and all the counts the administration is accused of. They claim that the policy relates to a “legitimate governmental interest” and builds on Minnesota’s existing anti-smoking laws to regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.
By August of 2020, the state legislature chose to adopt a similar prohibition statewide. Before, over 50 of Minnesota’s primary municipalities already had laws banning vapes on the books.