First State-Licensed Medical Dispensary Set to Open in South Dakota


It has been greater than a 12 months for the reason that new medical hashish legislation in South Dakota formally took impact, however there are nonetheless no state-approved dispensaries serving sufferers.

That’s about to vary.

Subsequent week, when Unity Rd. opens its doorways in Hartford, South Dakota––a city of about 3,300 positioned simply exterior Sioux Falls, the state’s largest metropolis––it should make historical past as the primary state-licensed medical hashish dispensary within the Mount Rushmore State.

“We had been actually pushing laborious to get that primary on the door to be the primary authorized, state-issued license,” B.J. Olson, one of many co-owners of Unity Rd., told the Argus Leader newspaper. “That doesn’t occur, until you will have your foot on the gasoline from the start.”

“We purchased the property, we started constructing the constructing with no piece of paper, and worst case, we determined we’re gonna construct a gorgeous construction to lease to any person and finest case, we’re going to be the primary dispensary within the state,” mentioned Adam Jorgenson, the opposite co-owner.

In response to the Argus Chief, “Unity Rd. is a franchise and in addition has outlets in Oklahoma and Colorado.”

Voters in South Dakota overwhelmingly accepted a poll measure in 2020 that legalized medical hashish remedy within the state.

The legislation formally took impact on July 1, 2021, effectively earlier than the state had begun issuing licenses for would-be dispensaries. However members of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe opened a dispensary shortly after the official begin date final summer time, bringing tension between the tribe and the state.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and different state officers have mentioned that they won’t acknowledge medical hashish playing cards issued to people who are usually not members of the tribe.

The Argus Chief reported that, as of February, “the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe [had] issued about 8,000 medical marijuana playing cards to tribal and non-tribal members,” and that, “though a number of county- and city-level legislation enforcement companies and state’s attorneys have eased up on arrests and prosecutions for possession of small quantities of marijuana all collectively, others, just like the Flandreau Police Division are usually not honoring some tribal-issued medical playing cards.”

The tribe mentioned on the time that greater than 100 individuals who had been issued tribal medical hashish playing cards had been arrested for the reason that dispensary opened final July.

Unity Rd. will “provide numerous merchandise together with flower, vape cartridges, topicals, pre-rolls and edibles,” in keeping with the Argus Chief, though initially “solely flower will probably be offered, however the enterprise expects so as to add merchandise in a few weeks.”

The state’s medical hashish legislation has confronted a sluggish rollout. As of April, there have been barely 400 sufferers who had been enrolled in this system, whereas solely 90 medical doctors statewide had been allowed to approve the usage of medical hashish for his or her sufferers.

South Dakota voters additionally accepted an modification in 2020 that legalized leisure hashish, however that legislation was finally overturned by the state Supreme Court docket after it drew a authorized problem by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem, a potential 2022 GOP presidential contender, celebrated the ruling.

“South Dakota is a spot the place the rule of legislation and our Structure matter, and that’s what right now’s choice is about,” Noem mentioned on the time. “We do issues proper—and the way we do issues issues simply as a lot as what we’re doing. We’re nonetheless ruled by the rule of legislation. This choice doesn’t have an effect on my Administration’s implementation of the medical hashish program voters accepted in 2020. That program was launched earlier this month, and the primary playing cards have already gone out to eligible South Dakotans.”

South Dakota may have one other shot at legalizing leisure hashish this fall, nevertheless, with a new measure qualifying for the November ballot.

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