Cannabis cultivation is allowed in Pennington County but is limited only to the cultivation of medical marijuana. South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) Chapter 34-20G passed the law to permit the use of medical cannabis to qualified patients or caregivers on July 1, 2021. Counties in the state of South Dakota may limit the number of medical cannabis establishments within their jurisdiction and enact ordinances governing the time, place, and manner establishments conduct business. However, no local government may prohibit a dispensary. All license applications are to be submitted to the Pennington County Planning Department (PCPD). Pennington County will only issue 3 marijuana cultivation facility licenses, according to Pennington County Marijuana Ordinance Section 328 A-2.
Pennington County Marijuana Ordinance Section 326 outlines the requirements for cultivation facilities. These requirements include compliance with zoning restrictions, submission of a detailed development plan, a description of the source of power, verification of all water sources used, and compliance with laws related to hazardous material disposal, among others. The cultivation of marijuana must also occur only in the areas shown on the floor plan submitted by the applicant and shall not exceed the square footage authorized pursuant to the Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The electrical system in cultivation areas must comply with the National Electric Code, International Building Codes, Fire Code, and all other applicable laws, and the cultivation activities must occur only in the areas designated for that purpose. Outdoor cultivation is strictly not allowed.
The initial operating fee for a marijuana cultivation facility in Pennington County, South Dakota is $5,000. There is also a development plan fee of $1,000 and a development plan review fee of $250 for changes. Additionally, there is an annual renewal fee of $5,000 and a transfer fee of $5,000. Late renewal fees for all allowed establishments are $2,500.
In addition to the above-mentioned cultivation, South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program (SDMCP) permits home cultivation of up to 2 flowering cannabis plants and 2 non-flowering cannabis plants within the residential area of a qualified patient or caregiver.
To apply for permission to cultivate cannabis, a patient or their designated caregiver must provide PCPD with a diagram and photographs of the secure facility where the cannabis will be grown, and pay the required fee of $20 for the printing of a two-part registry identification card. This fee covers the cost of producing a card for the patient or caregiver. One part of the card must be placed on the locked facility’s door, while the other part must be carried by the patient or caregiver. If more than one person is authorized to cultivate cannabis on behalf of the patient, each individual must obtain a two-part identification card and display or carry the appropriate part.
Cannabis manufacturing is legal in Pennington County but limited only to medical cannabis. According to Section 326 of the Pennington County Zoning Ordinance (PCZO), licensed marijuana manufacturers are allowed a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in industrial zoning districts. An applicant for a Marijuana Business License for manufacturing facilities must submit a copy of the approved CUP, a copy of the approved Development Plan, and all supporting documentation. The license application must also include a description of the products and services to be provided by the manufacturing facility and a description of the design of the establishment. Additionally, the applicant must provide certifications for criminal background checks of all of its principal officers, board members, agents, volunteers, or employees before each individual begins working at the licensed facility, employment restrictions, and previous marijuana business revocation. The statement must indicate whether any principal officers or board members of the proposed marijuana business have served as a principal officer or board member of any business that has had a license or permit suspended or revoked for violations of laws or regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, or gaming. The number of allowable marijuana manufacturing facility licenses in Pennington County is limited to 2 for the purpose of regulating marijuana businesses, according to MO Section 328A-2.
The initial operating fee for a marijuana manufacturing facility in Pennington County is $5,000, the annual renewal fee is $5,000, and the transfer fee is $5,000.
The operation of a marijuana business, including dispensaries, is allowed in Pennington County, South Dakota with certain requirements and procedures to follow as outlined in Marijuana Ordinance Sections 326, 327, and 328. Pennington County will only issue 3 dispensary facility licenses according to MO Section 328A-2. Moreover, a CUP must be obtained, licenses from Pennington County and the State of South Dakota must be acquired, and compliance with zoning restrictions and regulation standards for odor control, security, waste disposal, and fire safety must be met.
SDCL 34-20G-74 stated that licensed medical marijuana dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana to residents and non-resident medical marijuana cardholders, medical cannabis establishments, and its agents. It is also stated in SDCL 44:90:07:04 that it is permissible to manufacture and sell the following cannabis products: vaporizer pens or cartridges, concentrated cannabis, cannabis tinctures, oils, and capsules containing oil, cannabis beverages, other edible cannabis products, and topical cannabis products for external use containing not more than 10mg of THC per serving. As stipulated in SDCL 34-20G-71, in a span of two weeks, a dispensary is not allowed to provide more than three ounces of cannabis to a registered qualifying patient or a nonresident cardholder, either directly or through a designated +caregiver.
According to Pennington County MO Section 328I, licensed dispensaries in Pennington County can sell marijuana between 9:00 am to 9:00 pm unless a more restrictive time is set by the State of South Dakota.
The fees applicable for a dispensary facility are as follows:
Marijuana Business CUP Application - $3,000.
Development Plan Fee - $1,000.
Initial Operating Fees - Marijuana Dispensary: $5,000.
Annual Renewal Fees - Marijuana Dispensary: $5,000.
Transfer Fees - Marijuana Dispensary: $5,000.
As stipulated in Penington County MO Section 326A-5, licensed dispensaries shall not be located within 1,000 feet of any existing public or private schools of all levels, daycare homes, and daycare centers licensed by the state, playgrounds, and public housing facilities. This is in consideration of the well-being and safety of children and vulnerable members of society. Furthermore, no medical marijuana store should be located within 100 feet of any existing place of worship, youth center, public swimming pool, video arcade, alcohol or drug rehabilitation facility, a group home for the developmentally disabled, halfway house, or correctional facility. In addition, no medical marijuana store should be located within 50 feet of any residentially zoned or used property. Finally, no medical marijuana store should be located within 750 feet of any other medical marijuana center or retail marijuana store. Cultivation and manufacturing facilities will follow the same protocols for their location plans as well.
Licensed dispensaries and testing facilities are permitted to deliver medical cannabis to medical marijuana cardholders, nonresident medical marijuana cardholders, and licensed marijuana business facilities according to SDCL 34-20G-8. However, licensed cultivation facilities and manufacturing facilities are limited to transporting medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to fellow cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary facilities only. Failure to follow these regulations may face legal action, search and seizure of evidence, fines, or disciplinary measures.
SDCL 34-20G-2,3 specified that residents interested in patient or caregiver cards, and nonresidents who are interested in patient cards from Pennington County can apply for medical marijuana cards to the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program (SDMCP).
Patients must apply for a registry identification card to participate in the program, and the state has established fees for the application and renewal of these cards. The base fee for an initial application and yearly renewal of a patient registry identification card for a resident of South Dakota is $75, except for low-income qualifying patients, who pay only $20. To qualify for a reduced fee, patients must meet certain criteria established by the state. In addition to the base fee, qualifying patients who wish to designate a caregiver must submit an additional $20 fee for the issuance of a designated caregiver registry identification card. This fee is waived if the patient designates a caregiver at the time of the initial and renewal application. Nonresidents who wish to participate in the medical marijuana program must submit a $75 fee with their registration application. All fees are non-refundable.
For a patient to obtain a medical marijuana card, they must not be younger than 18 years of age and must first be assessed by a state-licensed practitioner such as a physician, physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse. A patient will only be certified to use medical cannabis if the condition assessed are debilitating such as multiple sclerosis, severe muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea, severe debilitating pain, and wasting syndrome or cachexia.
Once the patients pass the practitioner assessment, the physician will then create a patient account at the medcannabisapplication.sd.gov which will be activated by the patient themselves. The practitioner then sends a certification to SDMCP for approval and the patient will receive an email from email@example.com. The patient then follows the following steps:
Go to “Visit the Registry”
Log in using email and the temporary password provided
Once logged in, you will be prompted to create a new password
You will need to upload a valid ID and a passport photo
You will also be asked if you are a low-income patient. If so, you will need to upload supporting documents.
Click on “Next Step”
You will be directed to your physician’s information page which will already be automatically populated.
IF PATIENT IS A MINOR: Custodial or Legal Parent Attestation will be required
Fill out the designated caregiver information if your practitioner recommends it.
A cultivation form will also be needed to be filled out if you’d like to grow your own cannabis at home.
Click “Next Step”
You can choose your designated dispensary if you know it, and skip it if you don’t.
Click “Next Step”
Read the certification and click “Certify and continue”
Application fee breakdown will be seen on this page and the payment option will be Paypal.
Once the application is paid and completed, if applicable, the caregivers will receive an email and set up their application.
You can monitor your application on the dashboard.
Take note: Before requesting confirmation from the Department of Health on your status, you are obliged to fill out an "Information Release" form.
For more information, you can contact the South Dakota Department of Health at 605-773-3361.
According to the South Dakota Department of Revenue, there is a sales and use tax of 4.5% imposed on medical cannabis; use tax applies when sales tax is not charged. Furthermore, there is a municipal sale or use and gross receipt tax of 1-2% imposed on the municipalities of Pennington County.
Medical marijuana has been permitted for use in Pennington County since its legalization on July 1, 2021.
Let’s take a look at the effects of its legalization on the crime rates in Pennington County. According to the records found in Pennington County Sheriff's Office under the FBI Crime Data Explorer, a year before medical marijuana was legalized, there were 80 arrests made for marijuana possession, 4 arrests made for marijuana selling, and 231 arrests for driving under the influence. Comparing it to the most recent available data on the record found in the year 2021, there were 29 arrests made for marijuana possession, 0 for marijuana selling, and 258 arrests for driving under the influence. A significant decrease is seen between the two years. Keep in mind, arrests made for driving under the influence also include anyone using medical marijuana, which is illegal under the law of the state, among other dangerous drugs or substances.