The Rapid City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow for a $5,000 fee to be charged for business related medical marijuana licenses.



Rapid City officials have proposed a legislation that will enable a medical marijuana dispensary to be built for every 5,000 residents. With a population of about 75 thousand people, it equates to 15 dispensaries.

“Some individuals will miss out,” says Assistant City Attorney Carla Cushman. There is a clause in the law that states, “If an extra dispensary becomes available, either because of our population or because some of the licenses have been inactive or not renewed, there is a procedure where we may issue some more licenses once they become available.”

Licenses must be renewed every year for $5,000, and a dispensary will be considered inactive if it does not open within four months of receiving the license. Alternatively, if there are 60 days of non-use in a row.

“Once we license you, we want them to be actively utilized in our community. We don’t want you to simply keep them in your arms. “We’re simply forcing you to utilize it because you claimed you wanted to offer this service to the community,” Cushman adds. Otherwise, that license may be revoked.”


There are four different types of medicinal marijuana licenses available:

Cultivation, or the process of growing a thing.

Manufacturing is the process of transforming a material into a form that can be eaten. Edibles, oil, and flowers, for example.

The dispensary, or the location where it will be sold.

Testing facilities are available.

Each of them requires a five-thousand-dollar licensing fee. If a facility performs more than one of these things, each practice will need a separate license.

“Similarly, if you had a brewing company and as part of that you were manufacturing beer, and then you had a restaurant associated with it —you would have an on-sale for where you eat, sit, and drink, and then you would have your license for where you manufacture the product as well,” says Interim Community Development Manager Vicki Fisher.

Depending on how the business develops, the city plans to evaluate and modify license costs.

“It’s hard to tell how much anything will cost before we do it. That is exactly what medicinal marijuana is. “This is something we’ve never done before,” Cushman adds.


The licenses they distribute are supervised by the city. As a result, if a facility has problems, they may remove their license.

South Dakota’s Department of Health is in charge of inspections.

If recreational marijuana were to become legal, licensing rules would have to be changed to accommodate it.

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