Kansas City's City Council acted Thursday to crack down on convenience stories caught selling synthetic drugs.
The new ordinance passed unanimously, and it updates one that was already on the books but lacked real bite.
Before, store owners faced fines for selling cigarettes and synthetic drugs to minors, but many never feared being caught because only two officers for the entire state of Missouri are in charge of enforcing the law.
The new ordinance gives the unit in the Kansas City Police Department that checks to see if stores are selling alcohol to minors the go-ahead to also check for cigarettes and synthetic drugs.
As part of the stiffer penalties, the city will now go after business' cigarette license, as well as look into suspension and more.
"The mere fact that we have made that available or made that message known, that we will expect corrective action, that we will then come back in the very near future to test again. If we come back a second time and we find the problem still persists, then those suspension actions will come. And we know that any sort of suspension will have a far, far reaching effect than any fine ever will," KCMO City Council member Scott Wagner said.
The penalties will work on a tier system. A business' first offense gets them a warning, and a subsequent offense or offenses will lead to the suspension or revocation of that business' cigarette license.
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