BROOKINGS – Brookings City Council raised two issues related to medical cannabis at Tuesday’s session and plans to discuss them extensively at next week’s study session.
The two items submitted were Regulation 21-027, which sets out the number of medical cannabis facilities in the city, and Regulation 21-028, which sets out procedures for licensing medical cannabis dispensaries in the city.
Mayor Ope Niemeyer motioned for both to be submitted and both were unanimously approved.
Emmett Reistroffer is a Sioux Falls entrepreneur who has been in the cannabis industry for a decade.
“I am very grateful to the city that they carried out due diligence and really good research in this regard,” said Reistroffer.
He said he knew South Dakota State University was a leader in agriculture and Brookings had strong ties with it.
“For me, it would really make sense for Brookings to see cultivation facilities as an opportunity. Sioux Falls is not open to add-on facilities, ”Reistroffer said. “Right now there is only one county in the state – Lincoln County in the unincorporated areas – that has decided to allow these types of facilities.”
He knows that there will be a lot of discussion about the pharmacies, and he wanted to address some things about the cultivation facilities.
“The types of jobs these types of facilities create are much higher than those in the retail industry, often college-level degrees in agricultural sciences (like) laboratory chemists,” Reistroffer said.
“We currently have up to 320,000 jobs nationwide,” he said, adding that councilors could review the current vacancies at these institutions, which show “the types of requirements the industry is seeking, the types of degrees and talent.” And I definitely think Brookings has some of those people available. “
Reistroffer said at least a dozen universities across the country are partnering with the cannabis industry on research programs.
He mentioned a city pharmacy.
“I heard there might be interest. And I know Brookings has a liquor store. If only I could encourage you to see Bonneville, Washington; there was only one experiment nationwide and it didn’t work out so well, mostly legal with the liabilities, ”Reistroffer said.
Ned Horsted is the Executive Director of the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota, which represents businesses and entrepreneurs.
“It looks really good so far,” said Horsted, adding that the city has options.
What he’s seen in other states, he said, if it’s limited to just two facilities and two people apply and one doesn’t get it, they’ve started a lawsuit.
Horsted said that under state law, the city is obliged to allow at least one pharmacy. He mentioned that Sioux Falls is considering banning all testing facilities.
“As a science-based community around SDSU, testing is like the defacto regulator for the industry here (to make sure you have safe products and well-paying jobs,” Horsted said, adding he doesn’t think every community is doing a test becomes a laboratory. “The state could probably do all the testing required for medicinal cannabis.”
He has felt fear of conveyors and product development across the state.
“I just want to mention that under state law, every type of product development falls under this type of license,” says Horsted, explaining the different types of extraction.
His final point focused on cultivation.
“Brookings is an Ag school, I can’t imagine not having that as an option,” said Horsted.
“But the big question here is, you know, it’s the role of government to decide, to choose winners and losers, and when you talk about licensing limits in general, you decide who can and” who can’t get into this new one Industry, ”said Horsted.
City Council comments
Councilor Nick Wendell said as the council prepares for next week’s study session, he greatly appreciates Horsted’s comments on the cultivation and testing.
“I think our conversation was so much about retail pharmacies, and I hope we can have a bit of a broader focus next week that includes the three legs of this stool,” said Wendell.
Councilor Holly Tilton Byrne herself commented on the scheduling of the study sessions and asked if the council wanted to bring them back on a monthly basis since she thought there was enough subject matter to warrant the frequency and the public knew there was a regular schedule of information.
City manager Paul Briseno said plans to reintroduce monthly study sessions from August onwards. He said they stopped study sessions during the summer months to give city staff more time to vacation. It is a lot of work to prepare for the meetings and then produce the meetings yourself, he added.
“So we definitely plan to bring them back every month, and we’ve already booked items for you guys,” said Briseno.
Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]