Local ordinances are beginning to take shape as the South Dakota Department of Health nears its October deadline to promulgate statewide rules regarding medical marijuana.

The Hughes County Commission gave first reading on Monday to ordinances creating licensing and zoning provisions for dispensaries, though according to Ordinance 2021-10’s staff recommendation, it is unknown if a dispensary in Pierre would count as the one dispensary each county is required to allow under state law, as Hughes County “staff (have) heard different opinions.”

The ordinances taken up by Hughes County include a $5,000 licensing fee with a $2,500 reimbursement to applicants who fail to receive registration from the state Health Department and tentatively allow one dispensary to operate in the unincorporated territory of Hughes County, but no cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities or testing facilities.

The ordinances given first reading Tuesday by the Pierre City Commission, among other things, tentatively set the city zones in which certain medical marijuana facilities can set up shop. All four types of facilities — cultivation, dispensary, manufacturing and testing — can set up shop in the city industrial park, light industrial or heavy industrial districts, while dispensaries and testing facilities can set up in the central and local business districts under the ordinances first read Tuesday.

However, no medical marijuana establishments of any kind are permitted within 1,000 feet of a public or private school within Pierre city limits under the draft ordinance. Like Hughes County, the draft licensing ordinance taken up by the Pierre City Commission also sets a licensing fee of $5,000 with a $2,500 reimbursement to applicants who fail to receive registration from the state Health Department.

“(Applicants) cannot have any license that was ever revoked or suspended from the Department of Health, so they have to be in good standing on that level,” City Finance Officer Twila Hight said Tuesday. “They also have to be in good standing with the City of Pierre, so they can’t have any outstanding taxes, utilities, fees, fines or assessments against them.”

Pierre’s draft Ordinance 1837 tentatively sets the number of dispensaries that can operate within city limits at three, and the number of cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities at one each.

The Fort Pierre City Council held a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss ordinances 1053 and 1054.

“The proposed ordinance, 1053, specifies highway commercial and industrial as the two zones where it would be allowed,” Fort Pierre Mayor Hanson told the Capital Journal. “The ordinance would also specify that the dispensary can’t be located (less) than a certain distance — we’re proposing 1,000 feet — from a school, and then not less than 500 feet from a residence, church, park, swimming pool, daycare facility.”

The draft taken up at Thursday’s meeting would allow dispensaries to be open between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., MST, Monday through Saturday. The draft also sets a licensing fee of $5,000 with a $2,500 reimbursement to applicants who fail to receive registration from the state Health Department.

“The only action taken by the council at the meeting this morning was to set a public hearing, a joint hearing, of Planning and zoning and Fort Pierre City Council on Sept. 1, and then we will have on Sept. 2 our first reading,” Hanson said. “So we wanted some time after the public hearing to make any changes that we might want to make before we do the first reading.”

Michael Woodel | 605-224-7301 ext. 131

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