Belle Fourche approves medical cannabis ordinance 2nd reading
Aneesh Nair | Published June 23, 2021 10:55:59 AM | Laws & Regulations

Belle Fourche approves medical cannabis ordinance 2nd reading

BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche City Council Monday approved the second reading of its temporary ordinance regarding the issuance of local medical cannabis establishment permits and licenses.

The topic was the first on the council’s regular agenda and no discussion was held following the unanimous vote.

The temporary ordinance is essentially a stopgap while the state continues to iron out the details of the rules and regulations related to the medical cannabis standards. That study period is expected to range from July 1, when the new medical cannabis laws become effective, to no later than Oct. 29, which is the state’s deadline to implement the medical marijuana program.

The document states, “local units of government will not yet know standards for medical cannabis and will not be able to adequately assess the local zoning and licensing requirements necessary to approve local permits and to better ensure applicants have a more predictable permitting process and avoid stranded investments”

The ordinances states that it would be inappropriate for the city to issue any local permits or licenses to a medical cannabis establishment prior to the state finalizing its rules and regulations of the issue.

“The municipality finds that a temporary ordinance is reasonable to preserve the status quo and prevent significant investment pending the outcome of the above study and any proposed regulations emanating therefrom,” the ordinance states.

As a result, the temporary ordinance lays out that any applications for a local permit or license to operate a medical cannabis establishment will not be accepted until the South Dakota Department of Health releases its regulations, and any application received by the city prior to that shall be denied.

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