YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) — A medical marijuana measure that South Dakota voters said yes to in November takes effect in just over a month.
A draft ordinance that would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries is scheduled for a second reading from the Yankton City Commission next month.
Under the current draft ordinance, up to two medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed in the City of Yankton.
“In order to obtain one of these licenses there’s an application process and they have to submit site design plans, the applicants would. Ultimately, if all the criteria are met a provisional license would be issued by the city to the applicant and that would be submitted to the state once they are ready to issue what they call registrations and the state would decide amongst the provisional licensees from Yankton who gets the two registrations that the city is authorizing the state to issue,” Yankton City Attorney Ross Den Herder said.
Commander Todd Brandt with the Yankton Police Department says safety will remain a top priority.
“We’re going to be diligent in our efforts to make sure that we’re maintaining safety within our community, so our biggest concern is to make sure our population is safe to continue on with their lifestyles with the implementation of medical marijuana so that our children and our youth within our city are still protected,” Yankton Police Department Commander Todd Brandt said.
Rolling out a new program comes with challenges.
“I think for us, the largest challenge has been never having done it before. Everybody in South Dakota is doing this for the first time,” Den Herder said.
According to a report from KELOLAND’s Bob Mercer, establishments aren’t expected to start commercial medical marijuana sales until this fall.
A spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Health says the statute requires the department to have rules in place and effective on October 29th, 2021.