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What to expect the marijuana task force to focus on

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sioux Falls City Council is appointing two members to a joint task force, focusing on creating ordinances regarding medical marijuana.

Just over a week ago, Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties approved appointing two members from each county as well. Greg Neitzert and Erica Beck are now two out of the six members of this joint task force.

Several members broke down exactly what it is they will be doing and what they anticipate the next couple of months to look like.

“Our task force goes until July 31st and we are tasked with getting together and seeing how we can work collaboratively together and I’m anticipating that we will start out by looking at the state and how that affects counties and municipalities,” said Minnehaha County Commissioner Cindy Heiberger.

IM26 allows for local governments, counties, and cities to have certain control. This includes time, manner, and location restrictions for businesses, which is a main focus of the task force.

“This group is going to be coming up with what are the appropriate locations for medical marijuana businesses to be located. We have a joint area just outside of the City of Sioux Falls that we both have to vote on when somebody wants to open a business and so we have to come up with regulations that we both agree on,” said Sioux Falls City Councilman Greg Neitzert.

The main task will likely be writing a draft ordinance saying where these businesses can be located.

“I think it’ll create a bit of a path and some ideas of what can we do inside of the city and out in the county because we also have to pass regulations for those, both of the bodies are going to need to do that. It may give us some guidelines,” said Neitzert.

As members navigate through the complicated legalities locally, they have made it clear that they, too, are learning as they go.

“I have a lot to learn, diving in with both feet,” said Heiberger.

“I’d like for people to understand that this is an incredibly complex issue. It takes time to stand up these programs and so we need to do it right so that’s why we need to take our time, but we also have deadlines we have to hit and we have a very short time to do it,” said Neitzert.

Neitzert did say he expects the group to start getting pretty busy. They need to have a report brought back to the Minnehaha County Commission by July 31st.

It’s not confirmed when, where or how often the group will meet but it was mentioned that the meetings will be public.

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