Sioux Falls lawyer Ryan Kolbeck typically doesn’t deal with legal questions about hunting licenses.
The criminal defense attorney did field multiple calls on the topic in the days following the November 8 election, however. They started coming in shortly after it became clear that South Dakota voters had voted to reject the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Each question had the same framing: Since federal law prohibits gun ownership by habitual marijuana users—or users of any substance federal classified as “illicit”—would they be able to obtain both a medical marijuana card and a hunting license in the state of South Dakota?
“You have to register with the state [to use medical marijuana], which is different from any other medication,” Kolbeck said. “People were wondering if the state of South Dakota could be trusted, basically.”
The callers had waited out the election, Kolbeck said, hoping a win for recreational marijuana would preclude them from applying for a medical marijuana card that would put their names on a state-held list.
The question was based more on speculation and suspicion of lawmakers than any official guidelines, Kolbeck said, but those suspicions aren’t especially uncommon in states with medical marijuana programs. The issue of hunting licenses comes up in online forums, and gun rights issues have bubbled over into state government action elsewhere.
In Minnesota, concerns over gun permits sparked the introduction of a bill that would have reclassified cannabis to allow medical users to own firearms.
In Oregon, the state pharmacy board re-classified the drug as schedule II, in part to clear a path for firearms permits.
The question of hunting license losses, or even a loss of gun rights, is “theoretical,” according to marijuana activist Matthew Schweich. Even so, Schweich is unsurprised to hear that the question arose in South Dakota.
“It’s really just a question of whether the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] would try to get records from states on medical cannabis and use them to say that someone was dishonest on the forms,” said Schweich, who helped back the 2020 medical marijuana initiative and the failed 2022 recreational marijuana use measure. “At this point, I’m not aware of that ever happening.”
Obtaining a hunting license is different from purchasing a firearm or getting a firearms permit, of course. Different states have different rules on concealed carry permits that are separate from federal rules. Unlike Oregonians, for example, South Dakotans can carry firearms—concealed or otherwise—without a permit.
And in South Dakota, the use of medical cannabis does not prevent anyone from getting a hunting license.
“If they just simply have a medical marijuana card, one, we wouldn’t check that, but two, it wouldn’t prevent them from getting a license,” said John Kanta, a section chief for the Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Department.
There are things that could disqualify a person from a hunting license, though. Someone with more than $1,000 in unpaid child support, for example, would be ineligible, as would a felon.
But those disqualifying issues would only come up if the applicant brought them up, Kanta said. There are a series of boxes the applicant must check to confirm eligibility, with a catch-all box at the end of the process.
“There’s a statement they agree to to say that they are, in fact, eligible for the license,” Kanta said.
No one at the GF&P runs background checks to confirm the accuracy of the statement, though. Marijuana use wouldn’t cause trouble for a hunter unless a game officer caught someone shooting under the influence or otherwise violating hunting laws, Kanta said.
All of which means Kolbeck’s clients are in the clear if they decide to seek a medical marijuana card for chronic pain or another qualifying condition.
Ultimately, however, the mismatch between federal laws on marijuana and state laws that allow medical or recreational use—there are 38 states with one or both—is liable to remain a source for concerns about gun rights, Schweich said. If Congress took steps to reclassify the drug, those theoretical worries would evaporate.
“What we really need is federal reform,” Schweich said.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Puffy’s Dispensary recently on Main Street Sturgis. Kittrick Jeffries, CEO, and his mother cut the ribbon, with friends, family, and community leaders.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been 895 days since the vote was taken to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in South Dakota. That vote passed, but of course, we know what came next. A legal challenge to the vote was taken to court, and the recreational marijuana provision was overturned, deemed unconstitutional.
Now, in 2023, the medical marijuana industry continues to pick up steam. These are somewhere in the range of 25 operating state licensed dispensaries operating in the state, as well as a medical program operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, and recreational and medical programs run by the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Per the latest update by the state on April 17, there are 8,997 approved patient cards issued in the state, and 212 practitioners approved to recommend medical cannabis use.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – Medical marijuana is a growing industry in South Dakota and Thursday Sturgis welcomed a new competitor to the trade.
Puffy’s dispensary opened it’s Sturgis doors to patients Thursday with an honorary ribbon cutting ceremony.
People with a medical marijuana card will be able to purchase a variety of products ranging from flowers to THC concentrates. Owner Kittrick Jeffries says medical marijuana can be an alternative to painkillers which have created an addiction problem for many people.
“I know that there are some issues with opioids and overdoses and things like that this is just a safer alternative for patients and it’s just wonderful that we are able to open on the national cannabis holiday,” said Jeffries.
“The Northern Hills has a great community we’ve seen that with a couple of other dispensaries that have opened up in Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish, Belle Fourche, and even Newell we’re just very fortunate to be a part of this Northern Hills cannabis community,” said Jeffries.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Though medical marijuana officially became legal in South Dakota in July, 2021, it was more than a year before cardholders in the state were able to walk through the doors of a licensed dispensary.
From January 1, 2022, to December 30, 2022, the state of the marijuana industry in South Dakota has gone through major changes.
This year has seen a steady increase in medical marijuana patient cardholders, the development of a number of different cultivation businesses, and the opening of the state’s first licensed dispensaries.
On January 24, 2022, the South Dakota House voted to ban home cultivation of medical marijuana by certified cardholders. Advocates and industry members voiced opposition to this measure.
Also in January, a bill seeking to ban medical pot gummies was passed by a House committee. This bill too, failed.
In February, a bill to legalize recreational, aka adult-use marijuana was considered in the legislature, and advocates were cautiously optimistic.
By February, the state had seen 47 bills dealing with marijuana introduced. Many failed, but some became law.
Discussion surrounding the adult-use marijuana bill continued into March when South Dakota’s gubernatorial candidates weighed in with their views on the legislation.
Despite the optimism felt by some supporting the adult-use measure, it failed to pass, dying on the House floor.
A bit later in March, the bill to ban home cultivation of medical cannabis was sent to a conference committee, where members attempted to reconcile two separate versions of the proposal.
As this was taking place, another marijuana-centered bill, this one seeking to add more regulation to where cannabis can be used, failed to make it out of the Senate, dying with 20 votes opposing it.
The next day, the Senate took the opposite action, approving two marijuana-focused bills, one to allow certain facilities to prohibit the use of marijuana on their premises, and another to expand the definition of ‘practitioner’ as it relates to the ability to recommend medical marijuana. Both bills went on to become law.
With a full ban on home cultivation seemingly dead in the water, a measure to limit the number of plants was passed by the legislature and sent to the governor.
By March 29, 2022, just 90 South Dakota doctors had been approved to recommend medical marijuana to patients by the state. These 90 represented just over 4% of the physicians in the state.
In April we began to get an understanding of the role that medical marijuana card companies were playing in South Dakota as an event held in Sioux Falls drew hundreds of patients.
While the first state-licensed dispensary was still months from opening, it is easy to forget that Native Nations Cannabis, a dispensary owned and operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, had been open since July 2021. In May 2022, they announced plans to double their production.
Later on, in May we heard from a company in Rapid City that was angling to be the first state-licensed dispensary to open. While they missed the mark on that goal, Kittrick Jeffries, the owner of Puffy’s Dispensary outlined the work he was doing to open his store in Rapid City.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In the 2022 midterm election, IM-27, a measure to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana failed with 52.9% of South Dakota voters in opposition.
This leaves South Dakota as it is today, with a burgeoning medical marijuana industry, and a number of businesses that were poised to move into the recreational market if it had been approved by voters.
Kittrick Jeffries, founder and CEO of Puffy’s dispensary, and a board member of the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota (CIASD) spoke with KELOLAND News on Friday about his business, the industry, and his own outlook on the failure of recreational marijuana in South Dakota.
On a personal note, Jeffries was disappointed in the failure of IM-27. “In just the immediate aftermath of the vote it was heartbreaking for a lot of our patients that couldn’t get access.”
Today, Nov. 11, 2022, is Veterans Day, a fact not missed by Jeffries.
“We have a lot of people that have reached out to us that have gone to see their VA doctor, who will not issue them a medical cannabis card because the VA is federally funded,” Jeffries said. “Having to talk to our veterans who can’t get medical access to cannabis in the last couple of days has really been weighing a heavy toll on me personally.”
Asked how the failure of IM-27 would impact his own business, Jeffries says the position hasn’t changed. “We’re a patient-owned and oriented business. I named the store after my mom, who is patient-zero in my heart, and the reason I got into the medical cannabis industry,” he said.
However, Jeffries did concede that the failure of IM-27 has catalyzed a change in his business plan — or at least the route his business will take.
“Basically, there are fewer medical patients than there are adult-use customers in the state of South Dakota,” Jeffries said. “With the failure of IM-27, we’re gonna be focused on more of an intimate approach with our dispensaries.”
This more intimate approach, says Jeffries, will manifest in a smaller-scale operation with fewer registers and less expansion of existing facilities, due to the smaller number of customers.
In terms of the size of that customer base, Jeffries cited a national average of about 2.17%-4% of the population of a state. That’s a range of 20,000-45,000 potential patients in South Dakota.
Comparatively, Jeffries says the South Dakota Dept. of Health reports that around 88,000 people (roughly 10%) in South Dakota currently use marijuana. Nationally, he says that percentage is around 18%.
One aspect of the rejected industry Jeffries laments is the loss of the tourist market. His flagship Puffy’s dispensary is in Rapid City, on the edge of the Black Hills and a major tourist market in South Dakota. “Just in our first months of being open here at Puffy’s, we’ve had to turn down 400 out-of-state medical cards, because they have to go through a very bureaucratic process before they come shop with us,” he said.
South Dakota does technically practice reciprocity with other medical marijuana states, however, the process for out-of-state patients can be difficult.
Jeffries explained that the state department is responsible for deciding if a patient with a card from another state has a South Dakota qualifying condition, which means that the patient must register with SDDOH, have their own doctor write them a recommendation for South Dakota’s program and then submit that to the department, who would then mail them a South Dakota medical card.
This process, said Jeffries, can take up to 60 days, making it especially difficult for patients who haven’t had time to plan two months ahead.
“I can’t stand at the front door of my dispensary anymore and turn down a patient from out-of-state,” Jeffries said. “It is so heartbreaking to see somebody who cannot take marijuana across state lines show up at our doorsteps in a wheelchair and crying their eyes out because they need medicine — it’s an unbelievable thing that we need to address immediately.”
Along with a smaller user base for cannabis products due to a market limited to medical sales, South Dakota’s cannabis industry, and the state government itself, will also see lower revenue than if adult use had passed.
“Take the great state of Montana,” Jeffries said. “Montana just passed adult-use cannabis in 2020. They’ve already implemented their program, and in the first fiscal year, raised $34 million in tax revenue, and that’s tax revenue that’s lost out in South Dakota.”
Another thing Jeffries cautions that South Dakota may lose out on is regulatory control.
“It’s only a matter of time before the federal government decides to regulate [marijuana], and we as a state of South Dakota have to figure out, are we going to allow the federal government to regulate cannabis after the fact or do we come in and implement a program, and regulate it ourselves to establish a status quo,” he asked.
And federal change may indeed be coming. On Oct. 6, President Biden directed the federal secretary of health and human services and the U.S. attorney general to begin the process of considering the rescheduling of marijuana under federal law.
Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act — along with such drugs as heroin, and higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Not all is doom and gloom in the eyes of those in favor of recreational cannabis, however, at least as far as Jeffries is concerned.
“I was raised in a household that always talked about ‘look at the bright side,’” said Jeffries. “I think there is a silver lining in IM-27 not passing in that the super-majority of cannabis establishments in South Dakota are locally owned. This will allow South Dakotans to establish their footprint before adult use passes, either nationally or in 2024 [in South Dakota].”
Another thing favoring local businesses in South Dakota is the caps that some local governments have put on cannabis establishments in their jurisdictions. “That would prevent large out-of-state cannabis companies from seeing an appetizing market — and allows South Dakotans that unique incubation period,” said Jeffries.
This delay however could be a double-edged sword however, with Jeffries warning that it could result in South Dakota being left behind.
As of November 9, 2022, 21 U.S. states (as well as Guam and Washington D.C.) have legalized recreational marijuana. Due to marijuana’s federally illegal status, those states all represent closed economic ecosystems for marijuana, as it is a federal crime to take marijuana across state lines.
If the federal government were to legalize marijuana, however, regulated interstate commerce for the substance would be possible, and those states with full-fledged recreational markets of their own would be primed to immediately take advantage of the brand-new market.
“Had South Dakota been able to jump in front of the program — we could be an export state of adult-use cannabis instead of being an import state,” said Jeffries. “California, Oklahoma, Colorado, Oregon — states that have had programs in place — they will be export states, and they’ll be exporting to states like South Dakota.”
While there are plans to get recreational marijuana back on the South Dakota ballot in 2024, with the federal government taking a serious look at rescheduling, it may already be too late.
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 8:00 PM MDT|Updated: 13 hours ago
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -The debate over the recreational marijuana issue continues. However, according to a federally funded survey, youth marijuana use decreased significantly in 2021, as well as teen consumption of illicit substances overall.
“Colorado’s 171 million dollars was appropriated strictly to education; that’s educating our youth on the effects of marijuana and what that looks like, and that’s resources well-spent. Other tax revenues went to drug addiction, law enforcement, roads and infrastructure amongst building brand new schools and a wide variety of things that can help benefit the South Dakota community,” says proponent Kittrick Jeffries, CEO for Puffy’s Dispensary
Jim Kinyon, chairman for Protecting South Dakota Kids, counters by saying some Colorado resident, have moved to South Dakota because of the negative impact cannabis has had on Colorado.
“We don’t lock up people for marijuana. We try and get them healthy,” said Kinyon, “In the state of South Dakota, if this gets legalized, we’re leaving South Dakota because our kids and our families won’t be safe.”
Meade County Sheriff-elect Pat West says you would be allowed to grow up to three or six marijuana plants in a household but no more than an ounce of product.
“So if they’re allowed to have six marijuana plants in a house, that means you can grow up to 60 pounds of marijuana every three months; that’s an excessive amount of marijuana,” said West.
In 2018, In South Dakota, one out of every 10 arrests were for marijuana offenses. Law enforcement and the court systems were getting “clogged” with marijuana offenses, taking away resources to investigate violent crime
“And so by the passage of IM 27, I believe that we can appropriate those law enforcement officers’ time, effort, and energy going after more hard drugs, more violent crime, and that will benefit the community as a whole and throughout the entire state,” Jeffries claimed.
In a recent SDSU poll, 45 percent of voters are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana but 47 percent are opposed; with 8 percent undecided.
Copyright 2022 KOTA. All rights reserved.
DENVER, Sept. 20, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – Flowhub, the leading cannabis software company for dispensaries, announced the launch of Maui (Flowhub Maui), a revolutionary new product offering underpinned by over eight years of national industry expertise. Maui is an intuitive, flexible, and performant solution focused on helping cannabis retailers increase profits, operate more efficiently, and create superior customer experiences. Based on benchmark data from live customers, the platform’s brand new backend architecture is more than 20 times faster than Flowhub’s legacy application, allowing dispensaries to accelerate growth and increase transaction volume.
“Many assume the plant sells itself, but it’s not so simple for legal cannabis retailers. The industry remains a highly regulated environment with an influx of challenges and increasing competition. So far technology providers have struggled to keep up with today’s dispensary needs and consumer expectations,” said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO of Flowhub. “With Maui, Flowhub gives full control back to dispensaries. We’ve taken diligent customer feedback to deliver a cutting-edge, mobile-first operating system primed for this multibillion-dollar industry. We’re here to power the upcoming explosion of innovative retail experiences that sustain healthy cannabis businesses and keep customers returning for more.”
Maui was created with the core belief that cannabis point-of-sale (POS) systems should be dynamic enough to accommodate any kind of customer experience a retailer wants to offer while remaining compliant at all times. Unlike other POS companies in the space, Flowhub Maui is an open, highly configurable system that allows businesses to easily integrate a custom tech stack on their choice of hardware, whether that’s iPads, Macs, or PCs. Dispensaries can set up their stores to match a growing diversity of retail environments and feel confident in the ownership, security, and accuracy of their data. This flexibility is essential for dispensaries to build competitive brands and execute frictionless operations.
Notable benefits of Maui include:
- Regulatory Agility: With the no-code app interface, Maui simplifies compliance with the vital ability to adjust regulatory settings to meet ever-changing state-by-state requirements in minutes.
- Universal Login: Multistate operators (MSOs) can now access all dispensary locations from one login to manage inventory, settings, reports and data across all locations and state lines—a first-of-its-kind feature in the cannabis point-of-sale space.
- Improved Inventory Workflows: Maui reduces overhead associated with track-and-trace inventory management. It has a seamless two-way Metrc integration allowing for easier batch imports and one-click discrepancy resolution. These enhancements have led to more than 40% efficiency gains on average for dispensaries, according to Flowhub data.
- Extensible Product Catalog: Maui provides a single source of truth for all inventory items across locations with its unified product catalog. It’s effortless to add new product variants, set out-the-door pricing, and build prices based on location, customer groups and more.
- Integrated Payments: Dispensaries on Maui may offer consumers more convenient ways to pay with a selection of compliant cashless payment solutions, including integrated Flowhub Pay and a recently announced ACH solution in partnership with Aeropay. Flowhub data shows that the average dispensary increases revenue by more than 30% on every non-cash transaction.
- Automated Deals: Maui comes with the smartest deal maker in cannabis. Dispensaries can easily automate virtually any type of promotion with advanced rules like AND/OR logic for BOGOs and stack or override permissions.
- Mobility: Flowhub mobile apps, including, Greet and Stash, are compatible with Maui, as well as the Flowhub exclusive Nug Pro mobile scanners and commonly used modern mobile hardware like iOS devices and Surface tablets, to allow for increased efficiencies and harmonious integration across the platform.
Maui will be available in all active Flowhub markets, including the company’s recently entered markets, New Jersey, West Virginia and South Dakota.
“Flowhub Maui is by far the best cannabis retail platform available,” said Jaclyn Enlow, head of operations for Chesapeake Apothecary in Maryland. “We were up and running so quickly. The team at Flowhub is fantastic, but they haven’t had to support us too much because the product is intuitive and does what we need it to do. It worked with my existing hardware, so it was dead simple to go live. It took days instead of weeks to train and implement even when moving from another platform.”
“Flowhub has been supporting cannabis retailers since the beginning and with Maui it shows. They have used their experience to make the application intuitive and easy to use, and we were blown away by how quickly Flowhub was able to have us ready for compliant cannabis retail in South Dakota,” said Kittrick Jeffries, CEO/co-owner of Puffy’s Dispensary. “We opened our first of 11 dispensaries, and Maui makes it that much easier. Maui eliminates redundancy and streamlines the process to get cannabis to our customers/patients as fast as we can.”
Maui arrives on the heels of Flowhub’s $19 million strategic fundraise in 2021, led by venture firms Headline and Poseidon, and a personal investment from world-renowned rapper, entrepreneur and entertainment mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. To date, the company has raised nearly $50 million in capital, bringing the company’s valuation to over $200 million.
Flowhub has continued its commitment to building a sustainable, inclusive future through legalization advocacy efforts, partner relationships, and social responsibility. Since launching in June 2021, Flowhub’s Social Equity Program has granted over $4 million in software awards to support underrepresented dispensary entrepreneurs from a diversity of backgrounds, particularly those who have previously been involved in a marijuana conviction. Flowhub also has an open API framework connecting to over 50 integration partners spanning ecommerce, ERP, data analytics, CRM and more across its app ecosystem.
With the launch of Maui and new leadership hires, including Chief Operating Officer Leandre Johns, Vice President of Customer Operations Sheila Lavender, Vice President of Product Matt Tharp, and Vice President of Engineering Kris Cicarelli, the company is well poised to accelerate expansion into emerging markets, further develop its dynamic product line and grow its social equity program, to enable a future where cannabis is accessible to every adult on planet Earth.
Medical marijuana ID cardholders in the Black Hills now have a place to buy cannabis.
Puffy’s Dispensary on Thursday will open the first of 11 planned locations in the Rapid City and surrounding areas. The 2120 W. Main St. location marks the first licensed pot dispensary to begin operations west of the Missouri River.