State Senate nixes grace period for retailers to sell inventory of banned cigarettes

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FRANKFORT, Kentucky — Retailers will not have a 60-day grace period to sell tobacco products from companies that have been banned by the state for failing to pay taxes.

Retailers had asked for the grace period because they said it was unfair for them to have to take a loss on products they had already paid for. But the attorney general's office warned the grace period could be viewed as not complying with the terms of a settlement agreement reached with some of the nation's largest tobacco companies.

If that happened, Kentucky could lose its annual payments of more than $100 million - money used for various public health and early childhood education programs.

Kentucky nearly lost the payments in a legal dispute with tobacco companies that was resolved last year.

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