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What are the next stages for Rapid City’s medicinal cannabis dispensaries?

Initiated Measure 26 was passed by South Dakota voters in 2020, legalizing the production and use of medical marijuana in the state.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 4:47 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Wednesday, we learned which companies are receiving licenses to operate medical cannabis dispensaries in Rapid City. So, what are the next steps for these businesses before they open their doors?

Initiated Measure 26 was passed by South Dakota voters in 2020, legalizing the production and use of medical marijuana in the state. Since then, the process of dispensaries obtaining licenses has been rigorous.

Emmett Reistroffer, C.O.O of Genesis Farms, says he’s thankful medical cannabis is finally being implemented, adding that it’s a medicine South Dakotans have needed access to for a long time.

“It’s a great opportunity for Genesis Farms, but it’s important that we’re finally able to get medical cannabis products to people who need it, and that’s important in all communities across South Dakota,” Reistroffer said.

Kittrick Jeffries, owner of Puffy’s Dispensary, who obtained seven licenses to operate in Rapid City, says he was inspired to get into the field after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

He’s managed a dispensary in Oregon and adds that there are many ailments that medical cannabis can help with.

“We treat all kinds of people, those with epilepsy, PTSD from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, ovarian cancer,” Jeffries said. “We have a lot of patients we’ve tended to, and if that’s something that can help them have a better quality of life, it’s absolutely worth a try.”

With the 15 applicants now approved, cultivation and annual licenses need to be given out, a process that city officials say will be very similar to the previous process.

After the dispensaries open, they must renew their license to operate every year.

A concept that Deputy City Attorney Carla Cushman says isn’t unfamiliar to business owners.

“They will be coming to the city to get their annual licenses, and that requires providing us with a little bit of information and paying a $3,500 annual license fee.”

Both Puffy’s and Genesis Farms say they hope to be operational by the fall.

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