California Tobacco Directory Frequently Asked Questions


The California Tobacco Directory was created pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 30165.1, which requires the Attorney General to develop and publish on the Attorney General's website a Directory of cigarettes approved for stamping and sale within the State of California. The California Tobacco Directory lists all Tobacco Product Manufacturers that the Attorney General has determined have satisfied the criteria set forth in section 30165.1, and the Brand Families listed in the certifications provided by such manufacturers. In order to be lawful for sale within California, a Tobacco Product Manufacturer and its cigarette (including roll-your-own tobacco) Brand Family must be listed on the California Tobacco Directory.

Pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 30165.1 subdivisions (e)(1), (e)(2) and (e)(3):

  1. No person may sell, offer or possess for sale in this state or import for personal consumption in this state, cigarettes of a Tobacco Product Manufacturer or Brand Family not included in the Directory.
  2. No person shall affix, or cause to be affixed any tax stamp or meter impression to a package of cigarettes or pay a tax on roll-your-own tobacco of a Brand Family not listed in the Directory.
  3. No person may acquire, hold, own, possess, transport, import or cause to be imported cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco that the person knows, or should know, are not listed in the Directory.

Health and Safety Code section 104556, subdivision (i): "Tobacco product manufacturer" means an entity that after the date of enactment of this article directly, and not exclusively through any affiliate:

(1) Manufactures cigarettes anywhere that the manufacturer intends to be sold in the United States, including cigarettes intended to be sold in the United States through an importer (except where the importer is an original participating manufacturer as that term is defined in the Master Settlement Agreement, that will be responsible for the payments under the Master Settlement Agreement with respect to such cigarettes as a result of the provisions of subsection II(mm) of the Master Settlement Agreement and that pays the taxes specified in subsection II(z) of the Master Settlement Agreement, and provided that the manufacturer of such cigarettes does not market or advertise such cigarettes in the United States); or

(2) Is the first purchaser anywhere for resale in the United States of cigarettes manufactured anywhere that the manufacturer does not intend to be sold in the United States; or

(3) Becomes a successor of an entity described in paragraph (1) or (2). The term "tobacco product manufacturer" shall not include an affiliate of a tobacco product manufacturer unless the affiliate itself falls within any of paragraphs (1) to (3) of this subdivision.

A "Participating Manufacturer" is a Tobacco Product Manufacturer that is or becomes a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), provided that the manufacturer meets the requirements of Section II(j) of the MSA and all amendments thereto.

A "Non-Participating Manufacturer" is any Tobacco Product Manufacturer that is not a Participating Manufacturer.

"Brand Family" means all styles of cigarettes (including roll-your-own tobacco) sold under the same trademark and differentiated from one another by means of additional modifiers, including, but not limited to, "menthol," any brand name, alone or in conjunction with any other word, trademark, logo, symbol, motto, selling message, recognizable pattern of colors, or any other indicia of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, a previously known brand of cigarettes.

A Tobacco Product Manufacturer may apply for inclusion in the California Tobacco Directory by completing the certification process described in Revenue and Taxation Code section 30165.1, including executing and delivering to the Attorney General a complete and timely Certification for Listing form (JUS-TOB1) and all other applicable forms and required documentation.

No. In order for a Brand Family to be stamped or sold in California, the Brand Family itself must be listed in the California Tobacco Directory. (Rev. & Tax. Code, § 30165.1 subds. (e)(1)-(3).)