(KXNET) — You can’t legally smoke inside the state capitol, but lawmakers were taking up a smoking issue in the Senate this week.
On Wednesday afternoon, state senators passed House Bill 1229, which legalizes cigar lounges in the state.
A committee made a few changes to the bill from its original inception, stating that a lounge cannot serve alcohol, and a business must take in at least 15% of its money from cigar sales. Following the changes, the bill was presented again by representative Dan Ruby from Minot.
“We used to have ashtrays on the desk,” stated Senator Tim Mathern. “We had some wonderful people in the Senate. In fact, I can think of two on that side and two on this side who enjoyed smoking cigars. I am here. They are not.”
So far, there are two proposed cigar lounges in North Dakota — one in Mandan and another in Grand Forks.