RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Kittrick Jeffries got into the cannabis industry around 7-years ago after his mom was diagnosed with cancer. Now, he’s in the process of bringing his first dispensary to Rapid City.

“I was born and raised here in Rapid City. I graduated from Stevens and went to Black Hills State University,” Jeffries told KELOLAND News. “My mom was diagnosed with cancer, and that’s really what sparked my interest in the cannabis industry in general.”

Since seeking to get into the industry, Jeffries has worked as a consultant to cannabis companies in Colorado and Oregon, and is now bringing that experience back home as the founder and CEO of Puffy’s Dispensary.

Puffy’s is a name with meaning to Jeffries. The store is named after his mom. “Her nickname is Puffy,” he said.

That name will not just grace one establishment. Jeffries got 7 of the 15 dispensary licenses offered by Rapid City. He also has dispensary licenses in Wall, Keystone, Sturgis and Meade County, where his company secured the only license offered.

Currently, Jeffries only holds dispensary licenses but has a goal of obtaining cultivation capabilities in the future. As for now, they are currently in the midst of finishing their first dispensary, which they hope to open by the fall of 2022.

This first location will be located at 2120 W. Main St., Unit #5 in Rapid City near Baken Park.

Jeffries says that part of the process right now is sorting out exactly what Puffy’s will be. “We really want to get a feel for what Puffy’s is, you know — how that first store looks, what the aesthetic is — when you walk into the room, what the experience is going to be,” he said.

Puffy’s first location under construction, courtesy Kittrick Jeffries

Though he is the front-facing founder and CEO of Puffy’s, Jeffries is not alone in the business. “We formed a company called SCI Holdings, which stands for Small Capital Investors,” he said. “We offered as close to a co-op model as you can possibly get legally in the cannabis market.”

Jeffries says that SCI offered investment opportunities to 42 stakeholders, who would then hold equity in all of the establishments owned by the company. “What’s great about it is we’re all South Dakotans — we all live in South Dakota, and we got to name the store after my mom,” he said.

Once all the locations Jeffries holds licenses for are up and running, he says he expects SCI to employ somewhere in the range of 120-150 people by 2023.