No formal action was taken Tuesday, but the 1-hour, 45-minute discussion primarily centered on medical marijuana dispensaries, with the Davison County Commission agreeing in principle to allow only one dispensary outside the city limits of the three municipalities in the county.
Because each community cannot flatly prohibit a dispensary from opening in their jurisdiction, Ethan, Mitchell and Mount Vernon could theoretically each have one location, along with one in the rural part of the county, bringing the overall minimum of locations in Davison County to four.
No decision was made about how many other types of marijuana businesses would be allowed in the county, ranging from cultivating, manufacturing, or testing.
A consensus was built around only allowing a dispensary in areas zoned rural commercial. In Davison County, that essentially only allows a dispensary along Betts Road within a three-mile stretch in the area of 254th Street (Old Highway 16) and Interstate 90.
Davison County Deputy State’s Attorney Jim Taylor said the county will likely need two ordinance changes: one that deals with the zoning of these businesses and one that covers licensing and permitting requirements. He said almost every city and county government in the state is likely considering the same question right now about how to handle the medical marijuana question.
The timeline for medical marijuana requires the South Dakota Department of Health to establish a form for registering and renewing medical marijuana applications by Oct. 29, 2021, and be ready to issue ID cards for qualifying patients by Nov. 18, 2021.
The legislation does not allow counties or municipalities to flatly prohibit dispensaries from operating in their areas. Businesses can’t be in operation without a state license for medical marijuana, but the licenses will require applicants to meet local