With marijuana legal, South Dakota could cash in on economic impact

Local News

NORTH SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As of Wednesday morning, more than 50% of South Dakotans voted in favor of legalizing recreational and medical marijuana.

The decision shocked some voters in North Sioux City.

“I was kind of surprised actually. But I thought the medical marijuana would for sure and I was a little surprised at the recreational, but I think it’s the trend around the United States. It’s happening across the nation and I think South Dakota should go ahead and cash in on it while we can,” South Dakota voter,” Riva Sharples said.

‘Cashing in’ on the economic benefit of legalizing marijuana is what gives hope to one North Sioux City business owner.

“As a business owner it gives us a chance to recover some of the loss profits that we’ve had,” said Kimberly Luken, the owner of Beano & Sherry’s Casino.

She said she’s seen the boost in revenue other state’s have had by legalizing marijuana. And now, Luken adds not only can it have a significant impact on North Sioux City, but possibly all of Siouxland.

“You could have businesses popping up all over, housing expansions, people wanting to come here for the opportunity because it’s legalized. Traffic in general increased through the town that means more people stopping at restaurants, more people stopping at bars, more people possibly coming to this side of town,” Luken said.

But, not everyone believes there’s a benefit to passing both marijuana measures.

“I think both those things, both of those things, can create problems for people in society and we don’t really need any more problems right now. I don’t see where using marijuana for recreational use is going to help our society,” voter Robert Huguenin said.

The South Dakota Legislature will have until April of 2022 to set up a program to regulate and tax marijuana. Part of the tax revenue will go to public schools and the state’s general fund.

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