Ordinance suggests medical marijuana dispensaries in Rapid City to cap at 15, some say this doesn’t illustrate a free market

Rapid City Council Meeting, 09/01/2021
Rapid City Council Meeting, 09/01/2021(KXII)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:17 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rapid City Council held a working session today where they discussed medical marijuana dispensaries.

Right now, the ordinance being proposed lists four different licenses that are available surrounding the drug: cultivation, manufacturing, dispensaries and testing. Each license is five thousand dollars a piece.

Dispensaries would be the only permit with an upper limit, capping at 15.

Kittrick Jeffries with Dakota Cannabis Consulting says that only allowing 15 dispensaries is not conducive to a free market.

He’d like to see that number increase, saying he’d like to see the dispensary licenses work similarly to the other three which only face zoning restrictions.

He calls the five thousand dollar licensing fee reasonable, comparing it to Colorado’s licenses that cost between six and nine thousand dollars.

The ordinance says that a dispensary would need to begin operation within four months after receiving a license before it would be revoked, which he says isn’t enough time.

”Cultivation establishments right off the bat, they’ll have to start producing this product in-state. It takes 130 days, according to the 2020 Colorado Department of Revenue Annual Report, to produce a plant from seed to get ready for sale on average done by professionals who have done it in Colorado for nine years. So, for South Dakotans to come in and have that product available 130 days after the start date, you wouldn’t see dispensaries opening up until maybe early summer of next year.”

He says they’re going to need more time to build these facilities out, and recommends that a year is a more appropriate time frame.

A hearing regarding the matter will take place next week.

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