Ramos Introduces Legislation to Close Loophole That Allowed Convenience Stores to Remain Open 24 Hours a Day

Local Talk News

Tuesday, 01 April 2014

North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. announced today that he introduced legislation that would close a loophole in Newark's municipal code that allowed cigarette and candy shops in the city to remain open 24 hours a day.

Ramos said his legislation calls for any shop that is licensed as a "cigar shop" under the city's code to close for business at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A "cigar shop" is defined as a store that sells tobacco products.

"This legislation closes a loophole that allowed these cigarette and candy shops to remain open throughout the night," Ramos said. "After hours, customers aren't coming to these shops for tobacco products. In some cases, they are coming to buy illegal drugs."

Ramos made the announcement alongside Councilman-at-large Carlos Gonzalez outside Heart of a Hustler convenience store on Broadway in the city's North Ward. The convenience store was shuttered in December 2012 after police investigation led to the arrest of a store clerk who was charged with selling marijuana out of the location.

"This is a quality of life issue as well as a public safety issue," Ramos said. "There is absolutely no reason for these shops to be open in our residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night."

The legislation was introduced on March 18 and will be up for a second reading at the Wednesday, April 2 council meeting.

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