The North Branch City Council denied an application request for a tobacco license during their July 27th city council meeting.
Cloud X Vapes informed the city of their intention to sell their business to a third party, Tobacco MN LLC, who was looking to resume business at the same location with a new tobacco license. Cloud X Vapes recently had their license revoked after numerous citations and complaints involving selling tobacco products to minors and operating during the Governor's Executive Order in 2020.
Courtney James, owner of Cloud X Vapes, stated that the new owner would continue to operate the location with the same employees but application information indicated that the establishment would not have any employees.
The North Branch PD investigated and discovered that the sole proprietor of the new business shared connections to Cloud X Vapes. Tobacco MN LLC listed their office out of Buffalo, MN, the same address as the Cloud X Vapes location that had their license revoked in December of 2020.
The Buffalo PD also discovered that the new owner shared a family connection to Courtney James's boyfriend, William Shocinski, who had attempted to obtain a license for the North Branch location but had been denied due to a criminal record. Buffalo City Council had denied Tobacco MN LLC their application request back on July 19th.
Tobacco MN LLC also had connections to another tobacco shop out of Wayzata where the police department there informed North Branch of open cases still being worked relating to violations.
North Branch Council Member Kelly Neider stated that the track record speaks for themselves.
"We all want new businesses in our community but we do want businesses that are going to really offer up excellence in serving our community and the track record of this organization has not offered that to us."