Roll-your-own cigarette bill passes Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that would require roll-your-own cigarette retailers to pay a licensing fee and tax and adhere to certain restrictions has passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin was approved 25-5 on Wednesday.

Pipe tobacco, a popular product of roll-your-own retailers, is not listed on the state attorney general's directory of tobaccos. The proposal would require tobacco the retailers use in their machines to come from the directory.

It would also require the retailers to pay a cigarette tax and an annual $500 licensing fee for each roll-your-own machine used.

Businesses would have until July 1, 2013, to meet the requirements.

The companion bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Finance Subcommittee.

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