Convenience Stores Find Loophole to Sell Flavored Tobacco

Korner Store in Gary New Duluth opening up smoke shop.

DULUTH, Minn.- At least two convenience stores in Duluth have found a way around a year-old city ordinance that bans the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products.

Derek Medved, owner of the Korner Store in Gary New Duluth, is creating a separate retail establishment as a smoke shop within his convenience store.

The 10 foot by 10 foot section will have a separate door and till.

The flavored tobacco ban has caused business at that Korner Store to decline by 19 percent from last year, Medved said.

He’s even been forced to let go of some employees.

“The loss of revenue, y’know people aren’t shopping for that market gas cut anymore, they’re going across the bridge or to Proctor or Hermantown to by gas, to buy their product,” said Medved.

“I keep saying that we don’t sell products, we sell convenience and that’s how we’ll operate.”

Medved plans to open his smoke shop within the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Holiday Station’s smoke shop on Grand and Central Avenues, is now open.

The age restriction is still 21-plus to purchase.

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