Rapid City working session proposes $5,000 for business related medical marijuana licenses

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Rapid City Officials have drafted an ordinance allowing the installation of a medical marijuana dispensary for every five thousand people. Considering the population of Rapid is near 75 thousand, that works out to 15 dispensaries.

Assistant City Attorney Carla Cushman says, “Some people will miss out. In the ordinance there’s a provision that if an additional dispensary becomes available, either because our population, or maybe some of the licenses have become inactive or not renewed, there’s a variety of things that might happen -- then, there’s a process where we can issue some new licenses once they become available.”

Licenses are renewed annually at a cost of five thousand dollars, and a dispensary will be deemed inactive if operation does not begin within four months after the license is issued. Or, if 60-days of consecutive non-use go by thereafter.

“We want these to be used actively in our community once we license you. We don’t want you to just hold them. You’ve said that you wanted to provide this service to the community,” says Cushman, “so we’re just making you use it. Otherwise, that license might go away.”

 

There are four categories of licenses that have to do with medical marijuana:

Cultivation, growing the product.

Manufacturing, converting the substance into a manner in which it could be consumed. Like edibles, oil or flower.

Dispensary, or where it will be sold.

Testing facilities.

Each of these are individually licensed costing five thousand dollars. If a facility does more than one of these things, they’ll need a license for each practice .

Interim Community Development Manager Vicki Fisher says, “Similarly, if you had a brewing company and as a part of that you were manufacturing beer, and then you had a restaurant associated with it --you would have an on-sale for where you eat, sit and drink and then you’d have your license for where you manufacture the product as well.”

The City intends to monitor and adjust licensing fees depending on how the industry shakes out.

“It’s impossible to know what things will cost before we actually do them. Which, that’s what medical cannabis is. We’ve never done this,” says Cushman.

 

Inspections fall on South Dakota’s Department of Health.

If recreational marijuana were to be legalized, the language of licensing laws would need to be altered to accommodate it.

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