Commission Hears Plan for Medical Marijuana Permitting
Tonight, the Pierre City Commission heard first reading of the city’s temporary plan for permitting and licensing medical marijuana establishments.
The plan, approved by the Joint Planning Commission late last month, states that the city intends to regulate medical marijuana but it will neither license nor permit medical cannabis establishments until the State of South Dakota has promulgated its medical cannabis rules.
“Until state regulations are in place, there are many unanswered questions,” said Kristi Honeywell, City Administrator. “Local ordinance can’t contradict state rules. Until the state’s plan is in place, we’re stuck somewhat in the holding pattern.”
The state, by law, is required to establish its rules by the end of October. Once those rules are in place, the city will come back with a permanent ordinance for permitting and licensing medical marijuana businesses. Local governments have the authority to regulate time, place, and manner of medical marijuana establishments.
“We, in collaboration with Hughes County, will continue to work on a permanent ordinance as best we can between now and October,” said Honeywell. “I expect much of our ordinance will be specific to zoning and the permitting process.”
In two separate but related actions, the commission also took the first readings on a plan to repeal the city’s current rules regarding the sale of cannabis paraphernalia, as well as a plan to add violation language to its general business licensing ordinance.
“With the decriminalization of medical marijuana, Chapter 10, Article 16 of our ordinance will be invalid,” said Honeywell.
“Additionally, the city currently has no penalties in place for businesses that operate outside of their local licenses. The violation language should help us enforce our licensing rules.”
All three ordinance changes will come back for public hearing and final action on June 15. The Hughes County Commission will join the Pierre Commission for action on the temporary medical marijuana ordinance.