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North Branch Revokes Tobacco License Again

The city of North Branch held discussions on another potential tobacco license revocation during their city council meeting Tuesday evening.

MN Tobacco and Vape, previously known as Cloud X Vapes, had received a tobacco violation near the end of October for selling tobacco products to a 17-year-old minor. The employee that had made the sale to the minor was also once an employee for Cloud X Vapes before the ownership change.

Council and MN Tobacco and Vapes had made it clear in the reissuance of the license earlier this year that no former Cloud X Vapes employees were to be employed under the new management.

Council Member Amanda Darwin stated strongly that this was bound to happen given the establishment’s history.

“We expected this in August, unfortunately we had no legal basis to deny the license. We knew we were being lied to then and we have proof now.”

The employee who had sold the tobacco products to the underage individual was present and spoke to council about the events that took place that day and stated that they don’t typically ask for identification for customers who come into the store at least twice a week.

Council was also disappointed that the business owner, Jacob Willenbring, was not present to answer for the actions and only the employee was there to state their story. Staff attempted multiple contacts with Mr. Willenbring regarding the action against him but hadn't received a response by meeting time.

Council voted in favor to revoke the license unanimously, the establishment will receive fines and will be restricted from applying for a new license next year.

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