SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Genesis Farms, a South Dakota cannabis company, has forfeited it’s license to operate the only dispensary in Minnehaha County.
The company, which had originally intended to set up operations in the county at the intersection of Arrowhead Parkway and 6-Mile Road on the east side of Sioux Falls, will not recoup the $100,000 application fee they paid the county.
Minutes from the most recent meeting of the Minnehaha County Commission show that in August, the county had ordered Genesis to appear before the commission on Sept. 26 to explain why they should not be found to be Inactive in violation of county ordinance.
On Sept. 15, 2023, Genesis Farms submitted a letter to the commission, forfeiting their license to operate the dispensary. In the letter, the company wrote that “because of circumstances beyond our control, such as the adjacent highway redesign, engineer and contractor delays/lack of availability and potential annexation into the City of Sioux Falls, Genesis Farms has been unable to proceed with buildout and thus not able to become operational.”
The letter goes on to add that Genesis had invested nearly $150k into the project.
On Sept. 28, Genesis Farms’ Emmett Reistroffer discussed the situation on a phone call with KELOLAND News. In addition to the issues laid out in the letter, Reistroffer also laid blame on the Minnehaha County Commission, and specifically Commissioner Jean Bender, who he said was against cannabis in the county.
Reistroffer said this anti-cannabis attitude was evidenced by the $100k application fee charged by the county, and the limit of one cannabis establishment in the whole of Minnehaha County.
Emphasizing that the process has taken time and money, Reistroffer indicated that due to the political situation, the company had decided not to continue pursuing operations in the county. He stressed the company’s focus on patient quality and access, which he indicated was provided by Genesis’ eight locations in the state.
“The county doesn’t want us there,” said Reistroffer, calling the commission’s behavior “grossly inappropriate.”
KELOLAND News has reached out to the Commission for comment on the situation and the statements made by Reistroffer, but we have not received a response.
The County Commission voted Sept. 26 to go forth with once again making the license available for applicants.