Medical marijuana setbacks, waiting on state guidelines

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:10 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Medical marijuana is at South Dakota’s doorstep knocking, and curiosity is lighting up around the state as measures and regulations are yet to be instilled before the state legalization July 1st.

Rapid City’s Communications Coordinator, Darrell Shoemaker, expresses the need for the state to come up with rules before creating their own.

“The situation that we find ourselves in, as does many communities across South Dakota, is that by July 1 the state law changes, allowing medicinal marijuana in South Dakota. At the same time, it allows the state six months to come up with rules and regulations. So, there’s that interlude there where we don’t have the guidance by the state, but we need something in place by July 1,” says Shoemaker, “when the law changes.”

In other words, cities, towns and counties are hesitant to make decisions until the state institutes rules.

Monday, Rapid City convened, passed the torch around, and came to a 9-1 agreement on the first ordinance regarding the matter.

This is what’s important to know come July 1st.

“In any zoning district in Rapid City marijuana establishments, dispensaries, cultivation of marijuana and testing remains illegal,” says Shoemaker.

The state has until October 29 to institute rules. In the mean time, medicinal marijuana will remain illegal. The city is looking around the nation, where other places have legalized the medicinal use of the drug, and discussing successes and failures to structure how Rapid City will proceed.

Firms like Dakota Cannabis Consulting are eager to get the show underway, accorder to Kittrick Jeffries, the firm’s Director of Compliance.

“They plan and do intend on getting these rules by October 29,” says Jeffries, “to allow the rollout of medical cannabis establishments. It’s really a community project to build this foundation from the ground up.”

Areas that have rolled out the use of medicinal cannabis have had good and bad polices alike, “when looking at that policy, you have to look really towards the future,” says Jeffries. “Some things I’d like to see take place in the local communities all across South Dakota is to hold onto South Dakota values,” and who knows those values better than the people who live here?

“This also allows us to move forward and have the council working with the public of Rapid City. Coming up with that feedback. That feedback’s going to fuel, as we move forward, some of that criteria and that’s going to be part of the discussion,” says Shoemaker.

The medicinal marijuana waiting game persists.

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