Tobacco Frequently Asked Questions

To submit a question about cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products, please email us at dor_LEDtobacco@state.co.us or use our online webform.

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Licensing

Q. Do I need a State license to sell cigarette, nicotine products and/or tobacco products?

A. Yes, as of July 1, 2021, the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division requires that retailers hold a valid license to sell cigarette, nicotine products and/or tobacco products.

 

Q. What is the difference between Tobacco Retailer On-Premises and Off-Premises?

A. Tobacco Retail license on-premises: smoking/vaping is allowed inside the licensed premises.

Tobacco Retail off-premises: smoking/vaping is not allowed inside the licensed premises.

 

Q. Do I also need to apply for a local nicotine/tobacco license?

A. The Division strongly suggests that you reach out to your local licensing authority to confirm whether or not you need a local license for your business.

Online Sales

Q. I purchased cigarettes from a catalog or the Internet, and I want to resell them. Can I do this?

A. It is unlawful for any person, firm, limited liability company, partnership or corporation to import cigarettes into this state for sale or resale without a license or without first affixing the proper stamp to each package of cigarettes. You must adhere to all statutes, rules and regulations that pertain to cigarette sales. 

Failure to do so may result in criminal prosecution. 

Stamps on Products

Q.  My cigarettes are marked for use outside the United States. What should I do? 

A.  If you purchased those cigarettes while you were visiting that country, it is okay for you to have up to ten cartons in your possession if they are for your own personal consumption only.   However, if you purchased cigarettes from a retailer within the Colorado borders, or if you purchased them from a catalog or the Internet and they are marked for use outside the United States these are contraband cigarettes. Contraband cigarettes are subject to departmental confiscation. Report this retailer to the Department of Revenue.

 

Q. My cigarettes do not have a stamp. What should I do?

A. These cigarettes are contraband. Only a licensed cigarette wholesaler can possess unstamped cigarettes in their original unopened shipping package. Unstamped cigarettes should NEVER be sold to a consumer. Contraband cigarettes are subject to departmental confiscation. Report this retailer to the Department of Revenue.

 

Q. My cigarettes have a stamp from another state. What should I do?

A.  If you purchased those cigarettes while you were visiting that state, it is okay if they are for your own personal consumption only. However, if you purchased cigarettes from a retailer within the Colorado borders, or if you purchased them from a catalog or the Internet and they bear a stamp from another state these are contraband cigarettes. Contraband cigarettes are subject to departmental confiscation. Report this retailer to the Department of Revenue.

Master Settlement of Tobacco (MSA)

Q. Is the State of Colorado bound to the Master Settlement of Tobacco (MSA)?

A. Yes, the State of Colorado is bound to the rules of the MSA.   According to Colorado Revised Statute 39-28-303(3)(b): "It  is unlawful for any person to sell, offer, or possess for sale in Colorado any cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory." See Colorado Certified Brands and Manufacturers.

Excise Tax on Cigarettes, Nicotine Products, and Tobacco Products 

For any inquiries regarding excise tax, please contact the Taxation Division.

Click here to visit their website and obtain additional information, or call the Excise Tax Unit at 303-205-6848.