SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A year and a half after South Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana, certified patients in the state’s new program will have their first opportunity to purchase medical marijuana from a state-licensed facility.

“We are very excited to announce we have secured the first initial inventory available to state-ran dispensaries. Our plan is to have product delivered and available to the certified public on the 27th of this month for our soft opening,” Unity Rd. co-owner Adam Jorgensen said.

The showroom is ready at the brand-new Unity Rd. dispensary in Hartford.

“We started with a vault and then built the building around the vault. We have eight inch poured concrete walls, reinforced with rebar,” Unity Rd. co-owner B.J. Olson said.

The Hartford resident behind the business created the entire building with security in mind thanks to the guidance of their partnership with Unity Rd., the first nationally recognized franchise in the cannabis industry.

“The beauty of partnering with someone already established that has a plan in place is that we obtained the play book,” Jorgensen said. “This is stuff that we don’t have the ability to go out and procure on our own. This is part of the design team that comes specifically with our partnership with Unity Rd.”

Their franchise partnership means all their display tables, cases and security devices in the building are all the same as other Unity Rd. locations across the country.

“We actually had a designer design our store. These are four inch I-beams, heavy-duty, super reinforced,” Olson said of their displays.

From the technology to cameras, security and displays, they say Unity Rd is meant to elevate the shopping experience for cannabis patients.

“This is a medical facility, we’re looking to treat medical patients with natural supplements,” Olson said. “We get reached out to on a daily basis by people who are wanting to know when we’re going to open so they can get the relief they need.”

It’s a product that so far has only been available on tribal land in South Dakota, but next week this will become the first state-licensed dispensary to provide patients access to medical marijuana.

“We know there’s available cannabis up in Flandreau, but some people just wanted to utilize a state program. Us being first, we’re finally able to bring the product to the people,” Olson said. 

“The experience purchasing from Unity Rd. will be elevated, not only the physical structure itself, but also its geographical location, being the first exit outside of Sioux Falls,” Jorgensen said. 

Unity Rd will be selling the first cannabis harvest from DNS (Dakota Natural Solutions), a state-licensed grow operation out of Huron, beginning Wednesday, July 27th.

Patients must have a South Dakota medical cannabis card to access the facility, but card holders from other states can also apply to get their South Dakota medical cannabis card to purchase products at the Hartford dispensary.

“There is a certain allotment of people able to purchase: only those that have a South Dakota medical card. As of this last update, there were just under 1,600. So we don’t know what to expect,” Jorgensen said. 

As they start this brand new industry in South Dakota, the two local owners know they are taking some big business risks but feel it is an important step to take to help honor the will of the people and serve those who need it.

“As we’re pioneering this industry, we don’t understand exactly what customer demand is going to look like, what product availability is going to look like, and most importantly, what is registered card count going to look like,” Jorgensen said. “But we know there is a heavy demand, people of South Dakota have been waiting on relief for years.”

Unity Rd. says their trained staff will help educate new medical cannabis consumers on what products will best meet their needs.

“Asking what brings them in here, are they looking to sleep, looking for relief of pain, anxiety relief, and then can guide them to the right section of our store,” Olson said.