SPEARFISH, SD – In preparation for the July 1 effective date for Initiated Measure 26, the voter-approved medical marijuana measure, the Spearfish City Council is updating City Code to prohibit the consumption/smoking of cannabis in public places.
City Attorney Ashley McDonald explained that nothing within the state statute permits, nor prohibits, the smoking of or consumption of marijuana in public, so the City needs to adopt an ordinance to clarify.
Monday, the City Council approved the first reading of Ordinance 1347, prohibiting the consumption/smoking of cannabis in public places, with the second reading scheduled for June 7. The ordinance would add a new section – 11-2 – to Chapter 11 (Miscellaneous Offenses), Article 1 (In General).
The proposed ordinance states it is “unlawful for any person to consume or smoke cannabis in any public place including parks, sidewalks, streets, alleys, rights-of-way, sports complexes, publicly owned property, or in any place that is open to the public.” The language defines “A place open to the public is a place to which the public is invited, including in, on, or around any place of business, parking lot, or place of amusement or entertainment, whether or not a charge of admission or entry thereto is required and includes the elevator, lobby, halls, corridors, and areas open to the public of any store, office, or multifamily residential building even if such place charges an admission or limits the number of admittees.”
The ordinance would become effective June 30 if approved.
State law currently prohibits the smoking of tobacco products in public.
The South Dakota Health Department is responsible for the implementation of a secure, web-based patient verification system, which has an Oct. 29 deadline, as well as is responsible to create a patient registry system, with a Nov. 18 deadline, to accurately identify verified patients and caregivers who will have access to medical marijuana.
The City Council Monday also approved beginning the process to incorporate regulations in City Ordinance for cannabis establishments, initiating an amendment to update the zoning code.
“State law mandates that we need to make some decisions on this,” Mayor Dana Boke said.
Under the new state law, municipal and county governments can regulate marijuana cultivation facilities, cannabis testing facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and dispensaries, as well as require facilities to obtain local permits, licenses, or registrations to operate.
The Spearfish Planning Commission has been discussing the appropriate zoning districts where growing, testing, product manufacture, and dispensaries could be located within City limits. Initiating the amendment enables a specific change to the zoning ordinance in the review and public hearing process.
The City Council will consider updates to the zoning code at future meetings.