With the passage of a medical marijuana licensing ordinance by Mitchell City Council, it means that one dispensary will be able to operate in the city. The ordinance also mandates that three applications rejected due to zoning rules could reapply under amendments passed on Tuesday night.,

Mitchell City Council approves one medical marijuana dispensary license, sidelines three due to zoning issues



The other three applications were put on hold in part because their proposed dispensary sites were within 1,000 feet of the Missouri group’s dispensary, which would be housed inside the Runnings building after the store relocates.

The city council unanimously approved one of four dispensary applications recently presented to the city: BWD Mitchell, a Missouri-based medical cannabis corporation that will conduct business as BWD Mitchell. The other three applications were put on hold in part because the proposed dispensary sites were within 1,000 feet of the Missouri group’s dispensary, which is set to open inside the Runnings building when the shop moves across the street into the former Kmart building.

A dispensary cannot be within 1,000 feet of another dispensary without a variance, according to the city’s zoning laws for medicinal marijuana enterprises. That implies that in order for the dispensaries to be authorized by the council, the three applications that were tabled on Monday will need to get a variance. The city Planning and Zoning Commission will consider authorizing the variances, which, according to City Attorney Justin Johnson, may happen as early as January 10, 2022. After considering the deviations, the Planning Commission would submit the proposals back to the council for final approval.

“Each of the applications you’ve submitted has been evaluated by staff and meets the standards, but some adjustments will be required,” Johnson added.

While the city has a lottery mechanism in place for applicants to participate to get a dispensary license, only one application was received before the lottery deadline of Oct. 29, removing the necessity for a lottery since there were only five applications. The city started accepting dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing, and testing facility applications on a first-come, first-served basis as the deadline passed.

BWD Mitchell’s application was filed before all three of the applications that were tabled, according to Mayor Bob Everson.

“This one, for example, would have satisfied all standards to be granted tonight if the Runnings building proposal had not been accepted first,” Everson added.

BesaMe Wellness would be the name of BWD Mitchell’s dispensary. In Missouri, the company runs nine BesaMe Wellness dispensaries, including facilities in Kansas City, Joplin, and Smithville, to mention a few. While the majority of the applicants on behalf of BWD Mitchell are from Missouri, the company’s vice president is from South Dakota, as required by the city’s medical cannabis license laws.

Runnings is getting closer to launching at the renovated and upgraded 1313 S. Burr St. site, which would free up the 1400 S. Burr St. facility for the group to convert into a medical cannabis company as development progresses.

Donald Livesay Jr.’s dispensary application was denied because his planned 501 E. Juniper Ave. site is less than 1,000 feet from the 1400 S. Burr St. Runnings building, which the Missouri-based organization plans to convert into a medical cannabis shop.

The council deferred a proposal by a Native American cannabis organization from Flandreau to operate a dispensary inside a suite at the 1620 S. Burr St. strip mall because it is less than 1,000 feet from the Runnings building.

Due to the close proximity of Mitchell Technical College, which is located at 1800 E. Spruce St., Native Nations Cannabis will be required to obtain two variances in order to operate at the 1620 S. Burr St. location. While MTC’s property line is more than 1,000 feet from the strip mall, Johnson said the Interstate 90 right-of-ways are not included in the property line distance, putting Native Nations’ planned dispensary within 1,000 feet of the local college.

“If you remove the 66 feet of right of way from Norway Avenue, this one is in the visitor center building with Einstein Bros. Bagels and Anytime Fitness is within 1,000 feet of the Runnings site,” Johnson said. “We also have an interesting problem with the distance to MTC.” MTC is roughly 1,700 feet from property line to property line, but the difficulty is that everything in between is interstate right of way.”

After the state legalized medicinal cannabis by a voter-approved proposition on the November 2020 ballot, Native Nations Cannabis became the state’s first medical marijuana shop to operate. Since July, Native Nations Cannabis has had a dispensary on the Flandreau Indian Reservation.

Due to the near proximity of two downtown churches, Emmett Reistroffer, a Sioux Falls-based medical marijuana entrepreneur, would need two exceptions for his planned dispensary facility on the junction of Fifth Avenue and Main Street.

A medicinal cannabis store cannot locate within 300 feet of a church without a variance, according to the city’s zoning laws.

Tara Volesky, a Mitchell local, recently acquired the 100 W. Fifth Ave. building where Reistroffer hopes to develop a dispensary, with the goal of bringing the city’s first marijuana dispensary to Mitchell. However, Volesky’s building is just 300 feet away from the Word of Life Church across the street and a Hispanic church adjacent to the Fifth Avenue apartment complex.

“The former Moonlight bar also has a chapel, which need a variance.” Due to its location in the core business area, this will also need a conditional use permit,” Johnson said.

The municipal council has accepted one application since it started taking applications in early October. Jordan Raftis’ application for a dispensary was the first to be approved.

Mitchell is one step closer to fulfilling its goal of five medical cannabis dispensary licenses now that two applications have been granted. Mitchell’s maximum might be reached if the three remaining applications gain their variances and council approval.

Superior Buds, Raftis’ dispensary, will open in a suite within the 1005 E. Spruce St. strip mall on Mitchell’s south end, near Walmart. He and the most recent authorized applicant might launch their cannabis enterprises as early as January 1, 2022.

If any of the applications are denied, the eight-member governing board has the option of refunding the $5,000 application cost.

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