Simplified: Sioux Falls' City Council is looking at the options it has to regulate pot in city limits as medical marijuana becomes legal in the state July 1.

Why it matters

  • Voters approved legal medical marijuana by a 68 percent margin in the November election.
  • The state Department of Health will lay out the rules for marijuana businesses by Oct. 29, but the city is already drafting rules based on the limited information they have at this point, City Attorney Stacy Kooistra told councilors Tuesday.
  • The city is limited on what it can do. It has no jurisdiction over who gets medical marijuana.
  • But it can regulate the time, place, manner and number of dispensaries or other establishments cultivating, testing or manufacturing weed products.
"The bottom line today is we've got to go with something," Councilor Pat Starr said Tuesday. "We've got to get started today."  

What options is the city weighing?

No formal proposals are on the table.

Neither the City Council nor the Mayor's Office has brought a specific ordinance related to medical marijuana. They're just in the research phase at this point.

Ok, but what could they do in the future?

Regulating marijuana dispensaries and other businesses could take a variety of forms, including:

  • Licensing fees
  • Requiring businesses to be a certain distance from schools, churches, residences and daycares
  • Setting rules related to signage or a security management plan

The city could also choose to do nothing and let businesses fall into existing categories.

Let's talk timeline

This is where it gets wonky. It'll be legal before all of the rules will be in place. Here's a quick list of dates to illustrate this fact:

  • July 1: Medical marijuana is legal
  • Oct. 29: State Department of Health deadline to promulgate rules for business establishments
  • Nov. 18: First date medical marijuana prescription cards can be issued to patients.