Archive for August 12th, 2011

Black Hawk Tobacco Inc. once sold its cigarettes to anyone that came into the California retail stores where they were sold.

But now a California court has ruled the Oklahoma cigarette manufacturer can only sell its products to enrolled members of federally recognized California tribes, the Press-Enterprise reports.

Black Hawk will have to curb its sales after a California Appeals Court ruled last week to uphold a lower court’s decision. The cigarettes are untaxed and don’t meet state guidelines that regulate tobacco products.

    . . .the state’s Attorney General sought to put a stop to the company’s sales because Black Hawk had been selling cigarettes not listed in the state’s directory and for violating the California Cigarette Fire Safety and Firefighter Protection Act and the federal Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act. Black Hawk tried to take the case federal, but that was a no go. It also argued tribal sovereignty, also a no go because Black Hawk’s owner isn’t an Agua Caliente tribe member.

    In Feb. 2010, the Agua Caliente tribe emphasized that its ordinance required all tobacco sellers on the reservation abide by all state laws and regulations and the tribal council went on to say, “Black Hawk’s continued illegal sale of cigarettes on the Reservation is contrary to Tribal law,” according to the appellate decision.

ICTMN also has the story.

Jenna Cederberg