STURGIS – Meade County’s medical marijuana dispensary license costs you $ 125,000.
The Meade County Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to amend its medical cannabis ordinance, increasing the license fee from $ 50,000 to $ 125,000.
According to the amended regulation, the county would only issue a pharmacy license and not a license for a cultivation facility, a cannabis test facility or a facility for the production of cannabis products.
A registration fee of $ 150 would be charged. The original ordinance set the cost of a license at $ 50,000 for a pharmacy and $ 25,000 for a grow, test, or product manufacturing facility.
“The only problem I have is that we are a little tight in the pharmacy,” said Commissioner Talbot Wieczorek.
Meade County’s assistant prosecutor Ken Chleborad said Lincoln County recently passed a medical marijuana ordinance and set the licensing fee for a pharmacy at $ 175,000, payable over two years.
When asked by Meade County Commission Chairman Ted Seaman what number he would like to see if Meade County requested the license, Weiczorek said, “I think Lincoln County looks a good one.”
Lincoln County Ordinance No. 2107-59 was enacted August 6th and set the application fee at $ 50,000, which can be paid in two payments, with half the fee at the time of application and the remainder at the end of the first year.
Chleborad later said he may have looked at an earlier version of the regulation that listed the $ 175,000 fee.
Commissioner Rich Liggett said he would like Meade County’s fee to cover at least the cost of a full-time employee for the county.
“I’m afraid we will lose an employee to take care of all of these things,” he said.
Commissioner Rod Bradley said he believes there will be more costs than just having one person keeping track of all of the paperwork.
Emmett Reistroffer, a local lawyer and advisor to the cannabis industry, said he worked to engage state and local decision makers and answer any questions they might have about the medical marijuana industry.
“Fees are a big part of this discussion,” he said.
Reistroffer said he found out that local governments are trying to tie the fee to the actual cost of administering the license just to be 100% legally safe. But some in the medical cannabis industry may find this unfair and as feed for a lawsuit, he said.
Reistroffer also encouraged Meade County officials to create a map to determine where medical cannabis companies might be so that those interested in starting a business can know where real estate is and where not.
He asked the district commission to consider zone restrictions to see how many eligible properties actually exist.
Meade County Commissioner Doreen Creed told Reistroffer that Meade County has no zoning.
Reistroffer said he understands why the county may want to slowly get into the medical cannabis business.
“We want to prove to you that we are responsible entrepreneurs and good neighbors. We are creating well-paying jobs, ”he said.
He told the commissioners he didn’t think there would be a deluge of pharmacies in the Meade County market.
“Of course, Sturgis has everyone’s attention because of its tourism. I think if Sturgis restricts it, the county here has the option to take on some of that traffic… One way or another, people will get the product, ”he said.
To read all of today’s stories Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.