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Rapid City issues first provisional medical cannabis dispensary license

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medical pot

Rapid City issued its first provisional license for a medical cannabis dispensary on Tuesday.

Finance Director Pauline Sumption said it was issued to Puffy’s at 3310 Cambell Street. Sumption said she has another 10-12 applications to review that have paid the $1,500 application fee. She said she will likely review additional applications Wednesday.

Ninety-nine requests for provisional zoning letters came in for medical cannabis establishments on Friday, which was the deadline for a conditional use permit application to be considered at the Nov. 24 Planning Commission meeting.

Interim Community Development Director Vicki Fisher said of the 99 that were submitted, 67 will require a conditional use permit, 14 are not permitted, and 18 are permitted based on the zoning.

Fisher said those not permitted could request a rezoning but no applicant had as of Monday.

She said there were 22 medical cannabis license applications submitted, three of which were permitted use and 19 of which were for conditional use permits.

All conditional use permit applications submitted on Oct. 29 will be heard by the Planning Commission on Nov. 24, if staff deems the applications are complete. Applications lacking the required information will be suspended.

Fisher said there’s also a Nov. 12 submittal deadline for conditional use permits. Applications submitted that day could be considered during the Planning Commission’s Dec. 9 meeting, which could potentially secure a final zoning letter of compliance making them eligible to complete the provisional city license and submit to the state by Dec. 31.

The Dec. 31 deadline would allow those with provisional licenses to enter into the state drawing for dispensary licenses. However, Fisher said the city’s Finance Office has 45 days to review an application, which would exceed the Dec. 31 deadline.

If the city receives more than 15 applications for dispensaries, the applicants will be chosen through a tie-breaking method through the state.

Fisher said this process is similar to on-sale liquor licensing. She said the city requires a conditional use permit before a license can be granted. The permit has to be granted by the Planning Commission first and then the license can be considered by the Rapid City Council.

“We’re being very consistent,” Fisher said. “It’s the same thing with distilleries, wineries and on-sale liquor. The nature of the business requires a specific license be secured and a public hearing be held.”

The city council approved a 15-dispensary limit for the city based on population size. There are no other licensing limits for testing, manufacturing and cultivating facilities, although there are zoning restrictions.

— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at siandhara.bonnet@rapidcityjournal.com

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