SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal dispensary is the only South Dakota location open on July 1, plans for many other medical marijuana-based businesses are already in the works all over the state.
Even Native Nations has plans to expand and grow the business once South Dakota has a statewide medical marijuana system in place this October.
“There are a lot of members with our association that are doing this in every corner of the state. Obviously, there’s a heavy interest in Sioux Falls, it being the largest market. Folks in Rapid City, in the northern hills, I was in Spearfish meeting with folks interested in doing cultivation and testing facilities,” Ned Horsted, the Executive Director of the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota said.
Whether they’re planning a dispensary, grow operation, testing or processing facility, Horsted says anyone looking to get a start in South Dakota’s medical marijuana industry will have to wait until the licensing process is ready this October.
“There are several organizations already that are part of our group and are in the planning stages. They’re doing what they can prior to licensing to make sure they’re ready to submit their application and get business moving,” Horsted said. “I think everyone is scoping out where they might want to build their business.”
“We’re hopeful someday, given the regulations, we do need to follow the local regulations that we could potentially qualify to put a dispensary there,” Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal President Tony Reider said.
Native Nations has already purchased the Emporium building near 41st and Louise, that currently houses Guitar Center and other local retailers near the Empire Mall, with the hopes of opening a Sioux Falls dispensary once the state and city have set their rules for medical marijuana.
“There will be several locations throughout the city and county that would allow us to potentially bring some product in that would be grown off site,” Reider said.
Reider says the tribe hopes to not only open a Sioux Falls dispensary in the open retail space inside the Emporium building, but to also help offer assistance to medical marijuana patients looking to grow their own plants.
“We have plans to have an organic gardening center there as well, and will hopefully help people with that portion of the law with home grows and to bring the industry experts in to help them be as successful as they can at home with natural organic products,” Reider said.
Like other prospective local business owners in the state, Native Nations is also keeping a close eye on the supreme court ruling deciding the future of recreational marijuana sales in South Dakota.
“When adult use becomes legal in the state, you’re going to see a lot of outside businesses looking at the state to come in,” Horsted said. “Right now its primarily South Dakota businesses and we want to keep it that way. We want to build this business for South Dakota by South Dakota and ultimately have the best program in the nation.”
Right now the business focus is on strictly medical marijuana, those applications for licenses should begin in late October, but Horsted doesn’t expect the first legal sales outside of tribal land to happen in South Dakota until the first half of 2022.