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Sioux Falls City Council holds working session for medical marijuana

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A little over a month from now, medical marijuana becomes legal in the state of South Dakota.

Initial talks have officially begun for Sioux Falls regarding medical marijuana.

Sioux Falls City Council held a working session Tuesday to get an idea of what the regulations could look like.

It was made very clear that nothing was being decided or made official in Tuesday’s meeting, it was strictly an informational meeting.

The focus was on two main topics: medical cannabis framework and potential zoning options.

An official IM-26 medical marijuana task force is now formed in Minnehaha county and will be made up of city councilors and county commissioners.

The measure has also transitioned to South Dakota Codified Law 34-20G.

“If you actually research that, there are actually 95 statutes that were born out of initiated measure 26,” During the working session, Sioux Falls City Attorney Stacy Kooistra laid out the new medical cannabis framework.

“So, what that means is that you have 95 entries, if you print that out its 23 single-spaced pages of new statutes that South Dakota has that become effective in about 5 weeks,” explained Kooistra.

Senior planner Sam Trebilcock explained city zoning options.

Some included local government powers, zoning control options, and permitted special uses.

“For instance, on a dispensary, if you wanted to say a certain distance between dispensaries to space them out, you can do that. You can require a posting of a sign that says the nature of the business, you can require a security management plan,” said Trebilcock.

The measure will take effect on July 1st, but the South Dakota Department of Health technically has until October 29th to approve state rules for medical marijuana.

Not knowing all of those rules yet causes concern for city leaders over creating confusion and the potential for stranded investment.

“We’re certainly worried about the situation of developers coming in, citizens not knowing all of the rules and all of the sudden they perhaps might get a zoning permit approval with existing regulations, even new regulations, and then find out later on that the state is, the state rules that are coming out are not going to allow this kind of operation in that location or in that kind of operation,” said Trebilcock.

It was mentioned in the meeting that the state could release draft rules as soon as the end of May or early June.

The options officials currently face are either to proceed to make rules before the state releases theirs, make the rules after, or do nothing.

Other cities like Yankton are currently in the process of drafting their marijuana ordinances in preparation.

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