Log in Newsletter


Cumberland County commissioners pass new restrictions on vape and hemp shops


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed new restrictions on vape and hemp shops Tuesday as part of what Chairman Glenn Adams has described as efforts to address nicotine consumption among youth. 

“It has to start somewhere, and I think this board takes the lead in this county,” Adams said. “I think the next step is the education piece.”

The ordinance took effect immediately upon passing.

Under the new zoning guidelines, in unincorporated locations in Cumberland County, new retail establishments that primarily sell nicotine and hemp products cannot open within 1,000 feet of an existing or permitted shop or any schools, daycare facilities, public parks, group homes, residential rehabilitation support facilities or halfway houses, according to the amendment’s text. 

The amendment to the zoning ordinance will not restrict the operation of existing shops, according to Rawls Howard, the county’s director of planning and inspections.

Howard said county staff modeled the amendment after a similar one passed in Wake County in October. 

“One thing we added that Wake County did not add … we have a number of populations in our county that might have substance issues that are living in group homes,” he said. “The staff felt we should include those here.” 

In addition to the spacing requirements, vape and hemp shops can only be located in two kinds of areas zoned for commercial activity, and there can’t be more than one vape or hemp shop operating on the same property, Howard said.

“It’s very comprehensive,” he said, noting that the ordinance applies to shops whose primary purpose is to sell nicotine or hemp products or paraphernalia. 

Kratom products also fall under the ordinance, Howard said. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, kratom is “an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects.” Its sale is legal in the United States, but no uses for it have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

When asked by Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, Howard said the county had not contacted any business owners before creating the amendment. No one signed up to speak in favor of or in opposition to the change.

Howard said Hope Mills and Fayetteville are considering similar ordinances. Any violations of the ordinance would constitute civil penalties issued by the county, he said.

In other business:

  • The board unanimously approved its consent agenda.
  • The board unanimously approved this year’s federal legislative agenda.
  • The board reappointed Louis Wood and appointed Stacey Bolton to the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.

Reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at lsolomon@cityviewnc.com or 910-423-6500.

To keep CityView Today going and to grow our impact even more, we're asking our committed readers to consider becoming a member.

Take one minute to join now.

Cumberland County, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, nicotine, vapes