Medicinal marijuana brings business together

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 5:44 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - November of 2020 is when Initiated measure 26 was passed with 70% of people in favor of legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

Recreational use of the drug also received a majority of 54% support, but is being lit up with court related setbacks.

The introduction of marijuana has prompted businesses to act, and because of how much interest there is, the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota (CIASD) was formed with aspirations to unite all components of the industry.

Ned Horsted, the Executive Director of the CIASD, believes that getting all business related entities together forges a path to success.

“It’s where a lot of businesses [gather], and some may compete, but they get together for the purpose of creating a strong industry that’s responsible and fairly regulated,” says Horsted.

South Dakota is the 34th state to allow use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Being as new as it is, its implementation will inherently create jobs that haven’t existed before its legality.

“There’s going to be a lot of existing businesses that aren’t necessarily core and involved in the industry, but will be critical to help get this off the ground,” Horsted says, alluding to the growth of the economy. “So, there should be a lot of opportunities for people that aren’t necessarily interested or heavily involved in the industry. They may see a strong impact on their business from helping to build this new industry.”

The CIASD has already had success in attracting owners, but is looking for more entrepreneurs to join and help shape the future of cannabis.

After a long battle with court processes, businesses have a date to be ready by.

“July 1st is an important date in terms of when things start,” Horsted says. “That’s basically when the clock starts for the state to put together some of these rules, and make sure that there’s processes in place for people to apply for licensing.” Horsted would like for his organization to be involved with setting those rules.

If recreational use of cannabis is brought to the state, it will heavily impact business. It is still yet to be determined if it will make its way through court, or go up in smoke.

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