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South Dakota’s first medical cannabis dispensary opened on Wednesday, nearly two years after voters approved the reforms, South Dakota Public Radio (SDPR) reports. While Unity Rd. Dispensary in Hartford is the first licensed by the state, the Flandreau Tribe has been selling medical cannabis since July 2021.
Unity Rd. Co-owner B.J. Olson told SDPR the opening was “an extremely emotional day.” The company is partnering with Dakota Natural Solutions as its supplier.
“The moment that they got the license, they were able to drop seeds. The moment that we got our license and our building open, we were able to open up to our customers. It’s about being prepared, and really being lucky. We’ve been really fortunate with the people who we’ve been doing business with in this industry.” — Olson to SDPR
Unity Rd., based in Boulder, Colorado, offers franchise opportunities and Olson said that South Dakota’s laws “posed the most difficulty” for the company.
“We’re really doing our best to change the demeanor of how people perceive this product,” he told SDPR. “And everyone’s just been told one side of the story, but there’s a whole back end of what the cannabis industry does for South Dakota, and a lot more dollars flowing into our state.”
South Dakota voters are set to vote on broad adult-use legalization in November after the petition by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws was validated by state officials in May. Fifty-three percent of South Dakota voters had approved the reforms in 2020 but the measure was ultimately struck down by the state Supreme Court which determined that it violated the one-subject rule for initiatives.
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