SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Sioux Falls City Council has capped the number of retail stores that can sell medical marijuana at five.
The council on Tuesday night signed off on a proposal coming from Mayor Paul TenHaken’s office. But, council members halved the $100,000 license feel that City Hall wanted and will allow the licenses to be sold on the secondary market.
“The Sioux Falls City Council, by making a license worth $50,000 and transferrable, has just made dispensary licenses into liquor licenses,” said Drew Duncan, a Sioux Falls attorney and lobbyist for clients in South Dakota’s gambling and alcohol industry, via social media following the 7-1 vote.
A new liquor license in Sioux Falls costs about $200,000, but a state-set cap on the number of them has driven up the price on the secondary market to $300,000 or higher.
TenHaken and supporters of barring the transfer of dispensary licenses worry that allowing them to be sold on the secondary market will give them an artificial value, just like has happened with liquor licenses.
But the majority of the council decided without allowing a license to be owned outright, the city’s medical marijuana rules would unduly restrict a retailer’s ability to grow their business.