Watertown City Council discusses medical marijuana application fees  (Audio)

April 10, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–The Watertown City Council held a work session Monday, and on the agenda was the fees charged for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, and if they should be raised or lowered.

There are three dispensaries in business right now. That’s the cap the city council put on the number of them that could be in business in Watertown.

Those three businesses, by ordinance, have to pay a $25,000 application fee to the city, and an annual renewal fee that’s also $25,000. Most of that renewal fee is returned to the business if the applicant fails to obtain a renewal certificate to remain open.

City Attorney Lisa Carrico was asked what makes for a “reasonable fee” for the city to charge….

Councilman Bruce Buhler is okay with the application fee, but believes the renewal fee is too high…

Police Captain Kirk Ellis was asked about enforcement of medical marijuana businesses to make sure they’re operating within the realm of the law. He says the local police department isn’t doing much of that right now…

The city council will decide at a future meeting if the fees should change, or stay where they’re at now.