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Bjornson named Tobacco Control Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 14, 2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Scott Hardin, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
501-352-9351, scott.hardin@dfa.arkansas.gov

ABC Director Christy Bjornson named Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control
Bjornson will remain ABC Director while also leading Tobacco Control

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (February 14, 2024) – Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) Secretary Jim Hudson today announced Christy Bjornson as the new Director of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Division (ATC). Bjornson was named Director of Arkansas’ Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) in October 2023. She will maintain her role as ABC Director while also leading ATC.
Both ABC and ATC are within the Department of Finance and Administration’s Regulatory Division.

Bjornson replaces Greg Sled as ATC Director. Director Sled, who had been with ATC for more than 25 years, passed away in December.

ATC, which oversees 5,262 tobacco permits throughout Arkansas, ensures all retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of tobacco, vapor and alternative nicotine products fully adhere to all Arkansas tobacco laws. ABC, which oversees 6,468 alcohol permits throughout the state, has responsibility for the regulation and supervision of alcohol, including manufacturing and distribution. In addition, ABC also oversees operation of the state’s permitted medical marijuana facilities.

“The Director of both ATC and ABC must work closely with Enforcement Agents and the business community to maintain compliance within these regulated industries,” said Secretary Hudson. “Christy demonstrates this ability on a daily basis as she manages a wide range of high-profile issues. With one Director leading both divisions, DFA streamlines multiple processes across these two offices while also saving taxpayer dollars, which is a priority for Governor Sanders.”

Prior to joining ABC in October, Bjornson was an Attorney Supervisor in DFA’s Office of Field Audit. She also served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District.

“It is an honor to take on the role of ATC Director,” said Director Bjornson. “ATC’s dedicated staff works to ensure citizens of Arkansas are protected from harmful and illegal tobacco sales, as well as providing guidance to businesses in an effort to keep them compliant with Arkansas law. I look forward to continuing those efforts as an integral part of Arkansas’s regulatory division.”

As Director of ATC and ABC, Bjornson reports to Regulatory Division Administrator Trent Minner. The Regulatory Division oversees alcohol, tobacco, medical marijuana, gaming, and horse-racing in Arkansas.

Bjornson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas and a Juris Doctor Degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law.

She is a native of Little Rock.

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Special Announcement

ABC Director Christy Bjornson named Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control

Bjornson will remain ABC Director while also leading Tobacco Control

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (February 14, 2024) – Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) Secretary Jim Hudson today announced Christy Bjornson as the new Director of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Division (ATC). Bjornson was named Director of Arkansas’ Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) in October 2023. She will maintain her role as ABC Director while also leading ATC.

Both ABC and ATC are within the Department of Finance and Administration’s Regulatory Division.

Bjornson replaces Greg Sled as ATC Director. Director Sled, who had been with ATC for more than 25 years, passed away in December.

ATC, which oversees 5,262 tobacco permits throughout Arkansas, ensures all retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of tobacco, vapor and alternative nicotine products fully adhere to all Arkansas tobacco laws. ABC, which oversees 6,468 alcohol permits throughout the state, has responsibility for the regulation and supervision of alcohol, including manufacturing and distribution. In addition, ABC also oversees operation of the state’s permitted medical marijuana facilities.

“The Director of both ATC and ABC must work closely with Enforcement Agents and the business community to maintain compliance within these regulated industries,” said Secretary Hudson. “Christy demonstrates this ability on a daily basis as she manages a wide range of high-profile issues. With one Director leading both divisions, DFA streamlines multiple processes across these two offices while also saving taxpayer dollars, which is a priority for Governor Sanders.”

Prior to joining ABC in October, Bjornson was an Attorney Supervisor in DFA’s Office of Field Audit. She also served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District.

“It is an honor to take on the role of ATC Director,” said Director Bjornson. “ATC’s dedicated staff works to ensure citizens of Arkansas are protected from harmful and illegal tobacco sales, as well as providing guidance to businesses in an effort to keep them compliant with Arkansas law. I look forward to continuing those efforts as an integral part of Arkansas’s regulatory division.”

As Director of ATC and ABC, Bjornson reports to Regulatory Division Administrator Trent Minner. The Regulatory Division oversees alcohol, tobacco, medical marijuana, gaming, and horse-racing in Arkansas.  

Bjornson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas and a Juris Doctor Degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law.

She is a native of Little Rock.

Hours of Operation

Arkansas Tobacco Control's (ATC's) lobby is now open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday excluding holidays.

Permit Revocations

The following permits are revoked:

Permit Suspensions

The following permits cannot buy or sell Tobacco Products, Vapor Products, E-liquid Products and Alternative Nicotine Products during their suspension:

Permit # Store Name Physical City Start Date @ 12:01AM End Date @ Midnight
04185-02 MISTY'S SHELL LESLIE 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
02582-02 EXXON SEARCY 5/28/2024 6/1/2024
12076-01 FAMILY DOLLAR # 24372 ROGERS 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
09998-04 EXXON NEWPORT NEWPORT 5/28/2024 6/6/2024
02213-04 KING TOBACCO 2 FORT SMITH 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
10273-03 ROSE ONE FOOD, LLC. LITTLE ROCK 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
22844-01 BROADWAY WIRELESS WEST MEMPHIS 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
19347-01 ROYAL GOURMENT DELI, LLC. PINE BLUFF 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
07136-03 PAUL'S SMOKE SHOP MONTICELLO 5/28/2024 6/1/2024
03780-06 ALYZ MANAGEMENT MANILA 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
22175-01 SMART GROCERY MCGEHEE 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
07136-03 PAUL'S SMOKE SHOP MONTICELLO 6/2/2024 6/2/2024
00800-05 JAI GANESH CORNER STORE HOT SPRINGS 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
13987-01 CASEY'S GENERAL STORE # 3699 CABOT 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
12036-01 FAMILY DOLLAR STORE # 28473 HOT SPRINGS 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
13391-02 PINE BLUFF LIQUOR WINE SHOP PINE BLUFF 5/28/2024 5/28/2024
10761-04 71 EXPRESS EXXON TEXARKANA 5/27/2024 5/27/2024
08115-07 K & M FOOD MART, INC. BASSETT 5/27/2024 5/27/2024

Contraband Tobacco Enforcement – an Arkansas Tobacco Control priority

Illegal tobacco purchases by individuals and businesses deprive the State of Arkansas of funding for state social, education and health care programs. If you are thinking of buying cigarettes or other tobacco products from other states because they are cheaper, you might want to consider the risk you are taking.

Individuals caught buying, selling or transporting contraband tobacco could face criminal charges. Act 939 of the Regular Session of the 87th General Assembly of Arkansas establishes a forfeiture procedure for contraband tobacco. Any property, including money, used to buy, sell, or transport contraband tobacco may be seized and forfeited to the state. Consider these costs before buying, selling or transporting illegal tobacco.

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