Yes, cannabis cultivation is legal in Lincoln County, but South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) Chapter 34-20G and Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59 limit this to cannabis for medical use only.
SDCL Chapter 34-20G and Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59 allow each patient or caregiver registered in the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program to grow at home up to two flowering and two non-flowering cannabis plants for personal medical use provided they carry a physician’s certification for it. The cultivation must be done within an enclosed and locked structure.
To cultivate medical cannabis commercially in Lincoln County, a company must first apply to the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) for a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate specifically for cultivation. This involves a criminal background check for all board members and principal officers. The application fee is $5,000.
Upon acquiring the state registration certificate, the applicant must apply for a county medical establishment license from the Lincoln County Auditor’s Office. The county medical establishment license allows the holder to operate one cultivation facility and, in addition, one manufacturing facility, one testing facility, and one dispensary provided all are located at the same site. The applicant must specify in the application the type of operations that are being applied for. Activities not included in the license application will not be allowed after the license is granted.
The following are the requirements that apply to all county medical establishment license applications:
All county medical establishment licenses are valid for two years but must be renewed 90 days before it expires.
There is a $50,000 application fee, of which half is due upon application and half may be paid after one year of operations if approved.
A public hearing is required before any license is approved.
A background check is required not only for principal officers and board members but also for company employees and volunteers.
The following are the regulations that apply to all county medical establishment licensees:
A licensee can only have one county medical establishment license, whether one or more types of operations are applied for.
The medical cannabis establishment licensee must be the single owner of the business.
The medical cannabis establishment facility must be in its registered location.
The medical cannabis establishment facility must be more than 1,000 feet away from a private or public school or a daycare having more than 21 children.
The premises of a medical cannabis establishment facility cannot be shared with a medical practitioner.
The medical cannabis establishment licensee must own or lease the facility location.
The medical cannabis establishment licensee must put up signage stating that:
The use of medical cannabis on the premises is prohibited.
State law prohibits the reselling of medical cannabis.
It is a criminal act to drive under the influence of medical cannabis.
The medical cannabis establishment facility is allowed to operate for 24 hours daily but non-employees can only be allowed authorized entry from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The medical cannabis establishment facility must implement the following security measures at the minimum to deter theft:
The entire facility must be completely enclosed and locked.
There must be an internal security system that monitors any access to the facility and to medical cannabis.
There must be an internal and external electronic surveillance system that records and keeps footage for 180 days.
The external parking lot must be well-lit.
Security requirements of SDCL Chapter 34-20G and the South Dakota DOH must be complied with.
Yes, cannabis manufacturing is legal in Lincoln County but, as stipulated by SDCL Chapter 34-20G and Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59, this is limited to the manufacturing of medical cannabis.
To be allowed to manufacture medical cannabis in Lincoln County, a company also needs to acquire a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate first, specifically for manufacturing from the South Dakota DOH. The process and application fee are the same as the application for cultivation.
After receiving the state registration certificate, the applicant must apply to the Lincoln County Auditor’s Office for a county medical establishment license that specifies one manufacturing facility. The applicant may also indicate an application for one cultivation facility, one testing facility, and one dispensary since these are allowed under a single license. This is an important step because unless a type of operation is included in the license application, the licensee will not be authorized to do it.
All requirements that apply to all county medical establishment license applications must be complied with. Once the license is granted the new licensee must also comply with all the regulations covering all county medical establishment licensees.
Yes, selling cannabis by retail is legal in Lincoln County but, in compliance with SDCL Chapter 34-20G and Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59, this is restricted to the sale of medical cannabis by licensed dispensaries to patients and caregivers who hold medical marijuana cards from the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program and non-resident medical marijuana cardholders.
To be allowed to establish a licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Lincoln County, a company must also first get from the South Dakota DOH a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate, but specifically for dispensing operations. The application fee and application process are the same as those for cultivation and manufacturing.
Once the state registration certificate has been granted, the applicant must seek the approval of the Lincoln County Auditor’s Office for a county medical establishment license specifying the operation of one dispensary. The application may also include one cultivation facility, one manufacturing facility, and one testing facility because these are permitted under one license. Specifying intent is crucial because any type of operation not listed in the application will not be allowed.
The applicant must comply with requirements that apply to all county medical establishment license applications. When a license is granted, the license holder must also stay compliant with all the regulations governing all county medical establishment licensees.
SDCL Chapter 34-20G allows licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to sell medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, medical cannabis paraphernalia and supplies, and medical cannabis educational materials. Medical cannabis products include extracts, tinctures, oils, medical cannabis-infused food, medical cannabis-infused beverages, and topical preparations, among others. A maximum of three ounces of medical cannabis may be sold to a patient at a time.
Yes, cannabis delivery is legal in Lincoln County but, pursuant to SDCL Chapter 34-20G and Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59, only medical cannabis can be delivered by licensed dispensaries to patients and caregivers who are medical marijuana cardholders and to non-resident medical marijuana cardholders.
To apply for a medical marijuana card issued by the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program, patients in Lincoln County must first be diagnosed by a qualified health practitioner to have a debilitating or chronic medical condition that results in any of the following:
Severe debilitating pain
Severe and persistent muscle spasms
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
A qualified health practitioner can be one of the following:
A physician assistant
An advanced practice registered nurse with a license to prescribe medication to people
Once a diagnosis is made, the health practitioner creates an account on medcannabisapplication.sd.gov and submits the patient’s written certification. The health practitioner will indicate if the patient is a minor and needs a caregiver.
The patient and any necessary caregiver will receive an email with instructions on how to complete the application online. Each must submit a copy of a valid ID and a passport-type photo. A fee of $75 must also be paid. Those who belong to a household with a gross monthly income that is equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty level must submit documented proof of such to avail of a discounted fee.
The medical marijuana card will be mailed to the patient or caregiver. It is valid for one year and must be renewed.
Non-residents of Lincoln County or South Dakota, or those who have lived in the state for fewer than 45 days, may also register with the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program to be able to legally purchase medical cannabis.
For further information, the following may be contacted:
South Dakota Department of Health
According to the South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR), medical cannabis is subject to the 4.5% statewide sales and use tax. In addition, it is subject to municipal sales and use tax that ranges from 1% to 2%, depending on the municipality.
In addition to taxes, Lincoln County benefits from the $50,000 fee it charges for each county medical establishment license.
Lincoln County Ordinance #2107-59 allowing medical cannabis was effective August 6, 2021.
According to data from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2020, there were 50 arrests related to marijuana offenses, all of which were for marijuana possession. In 2021, this increased to 62 arrests related to marijuana offenses, of which 59 were for marijuana possession, and three were for marijuana manufacturing or sales.
There were 72 DUI arrests in 2020. This increased to 95 DUI arrests in 2021.