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Pico Rivera Places Moratorium on Smoke Shops

October 3, 2021

At their Tuesday meeting, the Pico Rivera City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved a moratorium on smoke shops in the city for at least 45 days from Tuesday, Sep. 28 and probably longer, while city staff writes policies and procedures to regulate the shops.

A smoke shop is a place that allots more than 15% of floor space to the sale of tobacco or tobacco products, smoking devices, electronic cigarettes, or drug paraphernalia, Carmona said in the written staff report. This includes cigarettes, cigars and vaping products, he added.

The ban will have no effect on existing shops.

Councilman Erik Lutz proposed the idea at the Aug. 24 council meeting.

“I want to prevent smoke shops. The current ones are okay, but when you reach saturation, I don’t think that’s how we want our city to look.”

City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman said can extend the moratorium for six months at a later time.

That will give city staff time to draw up new rules, City Manager Steve Carmona said. Currently smoke shops are allowed in the city.