SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The timeline for when medical marijuana patients could receive marijuana from a licensed dispensary in Sioux Falls is unknown.
That’s what city attorney Stacy Kooistra told city council members during a medical cannabis regulations update in the city’s informational meeting. Kooistra told city council members city-issued licenses have been given to the five dispensaries and all five have been granted state registration.
Kooistra said the city has not granted any “certifications of occupancy” and the city hasn’t received any applications for that process yet. He said the city can’t answer the question of when a dispensary will be operating in the city.
“It’s an industry that’s standing up in South Dakota,” Kooistra said. “When you get into cultivation, manufacturing and cultivation, let alone the brick and motor component, these are what the five (license holders) and many other entities throughout the state are wrestling with.”
The city received 79 applications for licenses in Sioux Falls, but the number of dispensaries in the city will be capped at 5. The five winners drawn in November 2021 were The Flower Shop LLC, Genesis Farms LLC, East River Farms LLC, PJS Holdings LLC and Deja VU SD LLC. Kooistra noted PJS Holdings would operate under the name Canna-Care. All five license holders will need to pay a $25,000 renewal fee in an application due before the end of the year, Kooistra said.
Kooistra also walked through updates to the city’s ordinances regarding medical cannabis after lawmakers passed several amendments to the initial law passed by voters in November 2020.
Some of the changes include allowing only two flowering plants and two non-flowering plants as well as the practitioner-patient relationship and the requirement to have in-person physical examinations to receive medical cannabis cards.
Kooistra showed a map of the proposed cannabis dispensary locations. He noted that city licenses could be transferred to different locations, but the buildings would need to comply with the proper license and zoning requirements.
City council member Greg Neitzert added one of the five dispensaries is looking to move locations to spread the dispensaries better throughout the city.
Neitzert also added it is hard to know when a dispensary would open because they need a product to sell.
“That takes a while to come online,” Neitzert said. “They are waiting for the supply before they can open their doors. We continue to wait.”
Since starting in July 2021, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (FSST) has registered more than 10,000 patients; more than 10x as many as the state’s program. The Tribe has distributed 10,641 medical cannabis cards, while the South Dakota Department of Health has issued 989 with 105 approved physicians eligible to issue medical cannabis cards.