The Pennington County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance to place a temporary hold on the issuance of permits and licenses for medical cannabis establishments within the county.
Initiated Measure 26 legalized the use of medical marijuana in South Dakota. The measure goes into effect on July 1, but allows the South Dakota Department of Health 120 days to create rules and regulations regarding the implementation of the medical marijuana program. Therefore, any county regulations passed during this time may fall into conflict with state-sanctioned rules.
Commission Chair Gary Drewes said “this ordinance before you today basically establishes a moratorium on anybody requesting permits and licenses from us until we establish another ordinance which can’t be developed until the state promulgates its rules and regulations.”
Cullen McNeece, who works for the State’s Attorney’s office, said “I believe from talking with the DOH, they're going to submit their rules sometime in August or early September and then it will go through the rules committee and we’ll be able to see those and we’ll be able to craft those so we have something in place before the licenses.”
The Pennington County Planning Department has been in touch with other counties and states to put together a plan for zoning and licensing requirements as well as cannabis standards, according to Brittany Molitor, the Pennington County planning director. County requirements will be presented to the Planning Committee and then to the Board of Commissioners for final approval.
The ordinance passed 5-0.