24/7 smoke shops in Prince George’s Co. to have new time, location restrictions

Concerns over the growing number of smoke shops throughout Prince George’s County have led the county council to take action.

This week, the Prince George’s County Council unanimously voted to begin enforcing new restrictions, including closing time and limitations on where 24/7 tobacco stores can do business.

They’ll now be restricted to operating in industrial areas and will need to close up shop by 8 p.m. and turn out all display lights. The shops are allowed to open at 10 a.m.

Residents shared concerns during the council’s hearing.

“This is a problem in our community,” said Erika Fareed, who lives in Glenarden. “Across the road from our municipal center there are three tobacco stores.”

Residents say they hope to see businesses that will uplift the community begin to move in.

“They have brass knuckles in there, they have mace, they have weaponry,” a concerned resident said during the council meeting.

The new law does have special exceptions to the new operating hours for shops that have video lottery machines. Stores will also be restricted to be no less than 2,000 feet within one another. 

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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