Cigar Wrap Suit to Move Forward

National Tobacco suit challenges D.C. ban of cigar wrappers

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge is allowing a tobacco company to challenge a law that bans the sales of cigar wrappers in the District of Columbia.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins agreed with Louisville, Ky.-based National Tobacco Co. last week that the law lacks a clear penalty provision and is allowing the lawsuit to proceed.

National filed the lawsuit in February, and said the company had a "direct injury" from the law, which is aimed at making it more difficult for kids to get materials that can be used to smoke marijuana.

The company's lawyer, Raymond Castello, said the city can regulate the sale of tobacco products, but cannot ban the company's product outright, according to a previous Associated Press report. He said the company lost business from 26 retailers in the city.

A lawyer for the city, Chad Copeland, told the judge at that time that officials never enforced the ban.

National Tobacco manufactures and distributes the Beechnut, Durango, Havana Blossom and Trophy loose-leaf chewing tobacco brands, and distributes Zigzag premium cigarette rolling papers, smoking tobaccos and other make-your-own tobacco products throughout the United States.

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