Meade County revises medical marijuana ordinance

Meade County has revised its ordinance on regulating medical cannabis establishments. A second reading on the ordinance will be Aug. 24. Courtesy photo

STURGIS — Meade County has revised its ordinance on regulating medical cannabis establishments.

The Meade County Commission had approved Ordinance No. 53 at its meeting on May 25, but it imposed a moratorium on issuing any licenses or establishing any rules until the state issued its guidance on medical cannabis expected by Oct. 29.

Meade County Deputy States Attorney Ken Chleborad advised the commission Tuesday that the revised ordinance removes the moratorium on accepting and approving any license applications for local medical cannabis establishments and moves forward with ordinances regulating the functioning of such establishments.

“We are a couple weeks ahead of what we anticipated. It would appear the state is going to have their regulations in place by roughly Oct. 4,” he said. “Frankly what is here, is our best stab at what we think the board may be interested in regulating.”

He said there is no limitation as to what the board can add to the ordinance.

“This is just giving you a starting place as to what we want to look at,” Chleborad said.

The board took no action on establishing the number of licenses that would be made available for medical cannabis establishments whether it is for a cultivation facility, a cannabis testing facility, a cannabis product manufacturing facility or a dispensary. Nor did they add in the fees that will be charged for such licenses.

Those will need to be added into the ordinance by the second reading which is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24, Chleborad said.

The ordinance passed in May was essentially a place holder in the event the state issued its guidance on regulation earlier than the end of October.

Commissioner Talbot Wieczorek asked if the license fees passed under the first temporary ordinance would still stand. Those fees included a $50,000 license fee for the dispensary license and $25,000 for cultivation, cannabis testing, and cannabis product manufacturing.

Chleborad said the newly revised ordinance, which passed unanimously on first reading Tuesday, stated that “upon becoming effective, all prior ordinances are revoked.” That would include any fees listed in that ordinance.

Commissioner Rich Liggett said he was pleased the county had some additional information from other counties and the city of Sturgis on which to formulate their ordinance.

“It’s not like we’re just shootin’ from the hip on this,” he said.

Chleborad said he also received information from the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners.

“I think we are in line with what they are doing,” he said.

Revised ordinance No. 53 was approved unanimously by the commission with Wieczorek, Liggett, Rod Bradley, Ted Seaman and Doreen Creed voting in favor.

You can find the revised ordinance at: tinyurl.com/MeadeCo731

If the county passes second reading of the ordinance at the Aug. 24 Meade County Commission meeting, it would go into effect by Sept. 27 in advance of state regulations.

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