County prepares for medical cannabis, public to review before first reading

POTTER COUNTY

ORDINANCE NO. 2021-1

A TEMPORARY ORDINANCE REGARDING THE ISSUANCE OF LOCAL MEDICAL CANNABIS ESTABLISHMENT 

LICENSES AND/OR REGISTRATIONS

WHEREAS, a local government may enact an ordinance not in conflict with SDCL Chapter 34-20G, governing the time, place, manner, and number of medical cannabis establishments in the locality.  A local government may establish civil penalties for violation of an ordinance governing the time, place, and manner of a medical cannabis establishment that may operate in the locality. A local government may require a medical cannabis establishment to obtain a local license, zoning permit, or registration to operate, and may charge a reasonable fee for the local license, zoning permit, or registration.

WHEREAS, Potter County, South Dakota (“County”), makes a preliminary finding that the County’s current regulations and controls may not adequately address the unique needs and impacts of medical cannabis establishments as defined in SDCL 34-20G-1; 

WHEREAS, medical cannabis state laws under SDCL 34-20G are effective July 1, 2021, with the South Dakota Department of Health is required to promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 no later than October 29, 2021, as defined by SDCL 34-20G-72.  During the time between July 1, 2021 and potentially as late as October 29, 2021, local units of government, such as Potter County, will not yet know standards for medical cannabis and will not be able to adequately assess the licensing and/or registration requirements necessary to approve local licenses or registrations and to better ensure applicants have a more predictable process. 

WHEREAS, the County makes a preliminary finding that the County needs further study of the relationship of medical cannabis establishments to the County’s desire and need to protect the community. The public interest requires that the County study, analyze, and evaluate the impacts of medical cannabis establishments and to fully explore the impacts of any proposed regulations regarding medical cannabis establishments;

WHEREAS, the County makes a preliminary finding that it would be inappropriate for the County to issue a local license or registration to a medical cannabis establishment prior to the South Dakota Department of Health’s promulgation of regulations governing the same;

WHEREAS, the County hereby exercises its authority under SDCL 11-2-10 and SDCL 7-18A-8, to establish a temporary ordinance regarding the issuance of any local licenses/registrations for medical cannabis establishments within the County; 

WHEREAS, a temporary ordinance will ensure that more comprehensive regulations and ordinances for issuing licenses and/or registrations can be completely examined with adequate public input from citizens, business interests, and medical cannabis industry representatives;

WHEREAS, the County 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 or ordinances emanating therefrom;

WHEREAS, the County finds that the following ordinance is necessary to protect and immediately preserve the public health, safety, welfare, peace and support of the county government and its existing public institutions; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY POTTER COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THAT:

Section 1. Temporary Ordinance – Application for Local License/Registration

A medical cannabis establishment desiring to operate in the County shall be required to apply for a license and/or registration from the County.  Applications for a local license and/or registration to operate a medical cannabis establishment, as defined by SDCL 34-20G-1, shall not be accepted until the South Dakota Department of Health has promulgated regulations as required by SDCL 30-20G-72.  Any application received prior to such regulations being promulgated shall be denied.

Section 2. Immediate Effect.

This ordinance is necessary to protect and immediately preserve the public health, safety, welfare, peace, and support of the county government and its existing public institutions pursuant to SDCL 11-2-10 and SDCL 7-18A-8.

Dated the 10 day of June, 2021, at Gettysburg, South Dakota.

Jesse Zweber

Chair, Potter County Commission

Attest: 

Shawna Shaw

Potter County Auditor

First Reading:  June 21, 2021 

Second Reading: July 8, 2021

Adopted: July 8, 2021

Publication Date: June 10, 2021

Effective Date:  July 8, 2021

Published once at the total approximate cost of $52.92.

-061021

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