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Sioux Falls city council to vote on temporary medical marijuana “pause” ordinance

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:47 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Medical marijuana is set to become legal in South Dakota next month, and many cities are still working to outline how they’ll manage the drug in their own city limits, including Sioux Falls.

The first reading of a “pause” ordinance for medical marijuana was presented to the Sioux Falls city council tonight.

This would be an “immediate effect” and though there was some push back from a couple counselors and citizens, after tonight’s reading it was passed 5-2 for a second reading.

The ordinance would essentially put a temporary pause on city marijuana regulations in place.

“Basically put a pause on approving any permits or licenses for any marijuana establishments until the state releases their rules, because until those come out, people couldn’t operate anyway,” said Neitzert.

This means the city would be allowed to refuse applications on July 1st until the department of health comes out with regulations... which would likely be this fall, but must be by October 29th.

“It’s really important that we get this pause into effect because we don’t even know what we’re approving at this point and people who want to start a business need to make business decisions and they need to know what playbook they’re going by. So, it would be premature for us to approve any licenses permits to start construction on anything until we know what the rules are,” said Neitzert.

Neitzert says overall he believes *most people understand the purpose for this ordinance.

“Now we have some people who are patients who are anxiously awaiting access. It’s just a matter of kind of reminding them that there’s a timeline they have to follow by the law to open businesses and that’s really up to the state,” said Neitzert.

Counselors Pat Starr and Janet Brekke voted against this ordinance. several citizens also told council members they were not on board with it.

“I don’t think the temporary moratorium accomplishes a whole lot. It really just says the city is playing wait and see. Really, the city should be a leader on this issue. We’re the biggest city in the state we’re an economic leader for the region and the rest pf the state is just looking for leadership and we shouldn’t kick the can down the road,” said cannabis industry consultant Emmett Reistroffer.

The second reading is set for next Tuesday June 15. Neitzert said if approved, it would become effective on Saturday June 19th.

In the meantime, they would be working on writing regulations for these establishments in anticipation of the state’s rules.

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