The county’s proposed regulations that would regulate medical marijuana companies have moved one step closer to reality.
Codington County’s Zoning Officer Luke Muller discussed medical cannabis regulations at the Codington County Commission’s first reading session this week.
Some of the rules and definitions have been adjusted during the process. But when it comes to rural parts of Codington County, under the proposed regulations, there will be no more than one pharmacy at a time.
Cities and municipalities are not bound to this number.
In addition, pharmacies must not be located within 300 meters of public or private schools, established residential buildings, churches, public parks or daycare centers.
Discussion at Tuesday’s district assembly was minimal and Muller simply read the titles of the ordinances and said they would be presented for possible final approval during a joint meeting with Watertown City Council at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7th at City Hall.
According to the district ordinances, “special regulations for these uses are required to ensure that adverse effects do not contribute to the desertification or degradation of the surrounding neighborhood.”
“Several groups worked together to create a model or template,” said Müller after the meeting. “But not everyone is going to do the same thing. But this type shows the structure of how things are set up from a zoning and licensing perspective.”
Some instructions have come from cities, counties and lawyers who have already completed the process, he said. And some of the governing ordinances are similar.
Before the pharmacies can open, there must be a legal cultivation facility. A grower is a licensed company that purchases, owns, stores, supplies, or sells medical marijuana.
The opening times for pharmacies would be daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., as suggested by the district. And there will be a $ 5,000 annual license fee for a medical marijuana facility.
Another condition would be that the applicant has not been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years. If the license holder repeatedly violates the county code of conduct, licenses may be suspended and revoked.
Operating a cannabis dispensary without a license is fined up to $ 500 for every day the business was open.
“The number of institutions and the setbacks, unless they are determined by state law, are in the hands of community for community,” said Müller.