This week, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) endorsed new legislation that would allow cigar bars in Wisconsin for the first time since 2009.
Assembly Bill 451 removes the date, June 3, 2009, by which a “tobacco bar” had to be in business in order to operate as a bar that allows smoking. It only allows for cigars and pipes, and the establishments must have 15% of gross annual income of on-premises cigars or pipe tobacco sales.
The legislation’s primary patron is Representative Nate Gustafson, and the bill has an additional twenty-two sponsors in the state House of Representatives, along with six members of the Wisconsin State Senate. According to PCA director of state advocacy Glynn Loope, Representative Gustafson’s office feels good about the bill, which may be heard soon in the State Affairs Committee.
Loope stated, “Yesterday, we had a productive discussion with Representative Gustafson’s office, and PCA provided its endorsement of the bill. This legislation is good for the local and traveling cigar patrons of Wisconsin, good for small businesses that can create a welcoming atmosphere for discerning adults, and good for the state. Once again, legislators are recognizing that cigars are different.”
PCA hopes the legislation will advance through at least one chamber before the end of the year, as it may be drawn into the 2024 session.