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Rapid City medical marijuana licenses underway starting October 4, what about building permits?

Amendment A was approved by South Dakota voters in last November’s election.
Amendment A was approved by South Dakota voters in last November’s election.(KEVN)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Starting Monday, medical cannabis licenses for dispensing, cultivating, manufacturing and the testing of the drug will become available in Rapid City. However, although licenses will be able to be applied for, building permits aren’t quite in place yet. The second and final reading of that ordinance will take place the same day, Monday.

Vicki Fisher, Interim Community Development Director with Rapid City, says, “that identifies what district each of these uses are allowed in. Whether they’re permitted, conditional and also identifies where they’re not allowed.”

Any establishment must be 1,000 feet from a public or private school and must operate within a closed structure. In the case of a dispensary, 500 feet from churches, parks or residential districts.

Kelly Brennan, Long Range Planner with Rapid City, says, “these maps were produced on September 27. I mean, they’re correct as of that date. Things change. Somebody could open a church. Somebody could close a church.”

You’ll need to make sure your proposed location with the City.

“We will be issuing provisional zoning letters,” says Fisher, “potentially starting Monday,“ and Brennan adds, “you need to submit that request for the zoning letter of compliance, and that will be your step one.”

However, Fisher says, “we cannot issue the full letter until a couple things happen.”

First, the ordinance will need to become effective which is still about month away if it passes it’s second reading on Monday, which is looking like it will.

“Provisional zoning compliance,” says Fisher, “we will take up to five working days to get those back out to the applicants,” and if it is deemed a conditional, further communication with the City will need to take place.

“The very soonest that those could go before the planning commission would be the first planning meeting in November,” says Fisher.

Brennan guesses there’s probably over a thousand areas that would be permitted or conditional to build, but “obviously we’re not going to have 1,000 dispensaries.”

There’s potential that those provisional zoning letters will begin the early stages come Monday alongside applications for licensing. Regardless, building permits wise, things will officially begin around the start of November.

“The amount of phone calls and emails we’ve received over the last three weeks to a month when we started really gearing up. I mean, it’s intensely a lot. Like, we’ve had a lot of interest. Now, whether that’s going to move forward or not...” Brennan shrugs.

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