Tribe Delays Plans to Reopen Smoke Shop

Will wait on appeal, legal resolution

Published in CSP Daily News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Narragansett Indian tribe said that it will hold off on reopening its tax-free smoke shop until legal issues surrounding the venture are resolved, according to an Associated Press report.

That decision was announced Monday. It is a reversal from last week, when the tribal government voted to allow tax-free tobacco sales to other American Indians.

The shop closed two years ago after state police raided it to stop what the state said was the illegal sale of tax-free cigarettes.

A federal [image-nocss] lawsuit followed. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled the state violated the tribe's sovereignty by forcibly entering the shop. But the court also found that the state is entitled to collect taxes on the tribe's cigarette sales to non-Indians.

The state plans to appeal part of the ruling. The tribe said it will wait for the outcome of the appeal before reopening the smoke shop.