NEW: Watertown City Council supportive of higher license fees for medical marijuana applicants  (Audio)

August 30, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A lengthy Watertown City Council work session was held Monday to discuss the local rules and regulations for medical marijuana.

The nearly three hour discussion focused on two main questions. How many retail shops, or dispensaries as they’re called, should Watertown allow to sell medical cannibas, and what should the application fee be for a business that wants to sell it?

During a first reading of an ordinance earlier this month, a $5,000 application fee was discussed. But there was a much different tone Monday night. Councilman Colin Paulsen…

The application fee is an important piece of these discussions because as Police Chief Tim Toomey pointed out, there are societal costs to legalizing medical marijuana…

Mayor Ried Holien supports a higher fee…

Because the council is poised to make significant changes to the application fees discussed earlier, they’ll circle back and have another reading of the ordinance at their September 7th council meeting, and then finalize the ordinance at the September 20th council meeting. 

There was also lengthy discussion on whether to cap the number of dispensaries at three, or have an unlimited number of them.  

Medical marijuana was approved by 70-percent of South Dakota voters in the November 2020 elections.