No new pot dispensaries in Spearfish yet | Local News
SPEARFISH — After considering a second application from a business seeking to open a second dispensary in Spearfish, City Council decided not to change Ordinance 1364, which states that only one cannabis dispensary may be permitted within the boundaries from the city.
“By only allowing one you are creating a monopoly and that cannabis store in your town, with no competition, could drive up the cost for your residents, or worse cause them to leave town for their prescriptions and encourage a black market that is currently in existence,” urged James Gwynn, of From the Hills LLC, a rival Sturgis-registered dispensary business, as he addressed the board at its Dec. 20 meeting.
Earlier in December, Spearfish Town Council drew names to select the one and only cannabis dispensary license that would be awarded. The name that was drawn was “Déjà VU SD LLC”. registered with Spearfish’s Char Gamble.
Gwynn urged council to consider not only Spearfish’s permanent population, but also the influx of visitors and students, who would pass through and also need to fill prescriptions.
“Spearfish (is) the largest town (in the northern hills) with a 70 mile radius for its retail,” he said.
Although currently no applications have been forwarded to the city’s finance office for other cannabis establishments, Gwynn also pointed to the city’s ordinance, which authorizes two cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities. in the city.
“The product made from these facilities would be far more than a store could sell. It should be sold in other cities and that would benefit retail sales outside of Spearfish,” he predicted.
The board thanked Gwynn for her input, but could not make a decision on the comments made during the public comment portion of a board meeting.
Gwynn was back on January 18 to again urge the council to reconsider the dispensary’s sole limitation.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Dana Boke addressed the council, asking for its opinion on the matter, but said she preferred the city to continue on its current path for the time being.
“My opinion is that we’re still working on the medical marijuana side, and we can see what the timeline and the rules are for recreation, and I think I’m comfortable with where we are,” said Boke.
Senate Bill 3 would authorize the recreational use of marijuana and is currently in the process of being passed by the state legislature after being passed by the Senate on Wednesday. Councilman Scott Hourigan asked how this bill would affect ordinances on medical cannabis establishments in the city if it passes the House and eventually becomes law.
Spearfish City attorney Ashley McDonald said all establishments in the process of being licensed probably won’t have to start from scratch if recreational marijuana becomes legal, but new regulations and standards should be met by these establishments.
“I anticipate there would be different regulations for recreational marijuana than medical marijuana, so they probably couldn’t just get in there,” McDonald replied.
Ultimately, the board agreed that only a cannabis dispensary would be enough for Spearfish at this time, but noted that they would keep an eye on the market as marijuana becomes a growing industry in South Dakota. .
“I would say stay the course we planned and we can always adjust in the future if we need to,” adviser Dan Hodgs said.
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