City OK’s Medical Cannabis Policy

The city of Yankton will be ready for medical cannabis as soon as the state does.

During its regular session on Monday, the Yankton City Commission unanimously voted for an ordinance setting the framework for licensing dispensaries in the city. Under the provisions of the ordinance, the city would allow the approval of up to two pharmacies in the city area. The initial application fee would be $ 1,500 to offset the city’s cost of assessment and background checks. If registered successfully by the state, the annual license fee is $ 3,000 per year.

City Manager Amy Leon told the commission that she had heard little from the public on the matter.

“I received absolutely no comment from the public on the medical cannabis regulation other than why we aren’t doing what another city is doing or why we are not putting in a moratorium,” she said. “That tells me that people are either not interested or agree with our approach.”

She noted that changes may be required.

“I want the Commission to be warned that if we get some guidelines and guidance from the state, we may have to go back and have our regulation changed.”

The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) has set October 29th as the deadline for final state approval and licensing rules.

During the discussion, City Attorney Ross Den Herder was asked what the city should do if some of its ordinances did not comply with state rules.

“We may have to make a small change to the regulation,” he said. “At this point I don’t see that. (Monday) we saw some preliminary rule proposals from the state. It’s very preliminary and they have until the end of October to post their final rules. If you read through these today, it doesn’t seem like it would require any changes to the regulatory structure that we have here. ”

Den Herder did not explain what the provisional rule proposals were during the meeting on Monday.

Leon said there is growing interest in the community to apply for pharmacy permits.

“As employees, we already know people who are looking for possible places to have an office if they have a license,” she said. “We want to make sure we give them as much guidance as possible and, according to our current guidelines, be as friendly as possible when they are ready.”

City officials and law enforcement agencies have been working on the draft regulation since the beginning of the year.

Commissioner Amy Miner took time Monday to acknowledge these efforts.

“It’s a possibility and I know countless hours have been spent on it,” she said. “It will have an impact on our community and I think Yankton has done everything in its power to make sure that effect is positive.”

Medical cannabis is due to be discussed at the county level today (Tuesday) as the Yankton County Commission will consider a second reading of a provisional ordinance during its regular session. Unlike the city ordinance, the provisional ordinance imposes a moratorium until the state’s rules are in place. If passed, the provisional ordinance would only apply to areas under the direct county jurisdiction and would not affect the Yankton ordinance.

In other matters Monday, the city commission:

• Approved a $ 20,000 funding request from the Riverboat Days Committee;

• Approved an agreement with HDR on the modernization of the sewage treatment plant;

• A deviation request rejected;

• Approved a taser equipment application for the Yankton Police Department;

• Two rezoning requests approved;

• Approved the city’s fireworks on July 4th.

Follow @RobNielsenPandD on Twitter.

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