Inside Sioux Falls’ first medical cannabis dispensary

Inside look at Sioux Falls' first medical cannabis dispensary
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It’s been less than a week since the first cannabis dispensary opened in Sioux Falls at 49th and Western.

After ten months of planning and construction, David Blackburn can welcome customers to The Flower Shop Dispensary.

“It feels nice. Doesn’t feel all the way real yet,” said Blackburn.

Each ounce is accounted for with barcode labels, from when it arrives, to leaving with a patient.

“And so that’s why another reason why everything has to be bought for manufactured everything in South Dakota because of this system,” said Blackburn.

The focus will be on the experience of making a selection.

“We’re the only one that’s deli-style. So instead of coming in and saying, hey, I want an eighth of a certain product, let’s say the OG Mandarin cookies, for example, a lot of other places will give it to you in just a prepackaged weight black opaque bag, and you can’t see anything. But when you come into the flower shop, you can smell, look at all of our strains we have available, for example, right now we have five, so you can come in and sniff every single one, look at every single one up close,” said Blackburn.

Medical cannabis has been life-changing, according to Brian Reiter, and he encourages others to consider the option.

“It is a relief that I don’t need to worry about being a criminal to, you know, ease my pain. Don’t worry about what other people think if it gives you relief. Then I say go for it. I feel like it helps all kinds of ailments, aches and pains, and seizures,” said Reiter. “For my Crohn’s disease, it’s done wonders.”

Some cautious customers don’t want attention as they make their selection and leave. The stigma is still on their shoulders.

“So I do think it’s slowly changing, but we are in the Midwest and South Dakota,” said Blackburn.

Some believe medical cannabis should be an option before trying pharmaceuticals.

“Just go slow, and if you need to up the dose to ease your pain or discomfort, and you just up your dose,” said Reiter.

As patients decide between a drive to the reservation’s dispensary or in Sioux Falls, Blackburn makes his pitch.

“Save your gas, come in and be part of history,” said Blackburn.

The prices for edibles start at $7, and for the cannabis flower, $20 a gram.

Tribal cannabis cards cannot be used off of the reservation. So you’ll need to get one from the state, which requires a medical exam.

Patients are saying once they fill out the state form, it takes about a week or two to get their $75 state-issued license.