Fifth medical marijuana dispensary approved in central part of Mitchell despite only 7,550 card holders in SD – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — After being denied on his first attempt to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the south side of Mitchell near several other dispensaries, Donald Livesay Jr. has found a new spot.

The new location where Livesay Jr. was approved to bring a dispensary is at 715 S. Rowley St. The lot that Livesay Jr. is planning to transform into a cannabis operation has a small one-story house on it.

With the Mitchell City Council’s unanimous approval for the dispensary, it marked the fifth medical marijuana business to be approved in Mitchell. That means Mitchell’s cap of five dispensary licenses has been reached.

“Just like we have recommended in the past, if the council does approve this application, to do so contingent on the building permit process and passing the fire inspection before beginning operation,” City Attorney Justin Johnson said during the Feb. 6 council meeting.

Livesay Jr.’s first attempt at opening a dispensary was denied due to the 501 E. Juniper Ave. building he proposed to do business in being located within 1,000 feet from another medical marijuana business. The city’s zoning codes for cannabis businesses require dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from another.

Johnson said Livesay Jr.’s new proposed location meets all the city’s requirements for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate. According to Johnson, Livesay Jr.’s application with the new proposed location came in before Jan. 1. The city’s timeline for Livesay Jr. to resubmit a new application extended to 2023.

Livesay Jr. will also be required to receive the city Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval for the building plan, according to Johnson. In addition, the city’s ordinance requires applicants to secure a state cannabis license for dispensary operations.

Unlike his previous proposed location, Livesay Jr. will not be required to secure a conditional use permit due the lot being located in a Highway Business district zone, which is less restrictive than some other zones.

At the Feb. 6 council meeting, there were no nearby residents or businesses who spoke in opposition of the dispensary.

Although four Mitchell dispensaries were approved prior to Livesay Jr.’s application, none have yet to open. However, a couple of the cannabis operations appear to be inching closer to opening.

BesaMe Wellness’ dispensary and cultivation facility planned to open inside the former Runnings building along South Burr Street has been under heavy construction over the past few months. Jordan Raftis, a medical marijuana entrepreneur, is also making progress on transforming a storefront at the strip mall adjacent to Walmart into a dispensary.


Shown here is the former Runnings building on Burr Street where a company is planning to open a medical cannabis dispensary and cultivation facility.

(Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic)

Native Nations Cannabis is the third dispensary in the south side of Mitchell that’s been approved to do business inside a suite at the strip mall next to the Interstate 90 exit.

Genesis Farms, a South Dakota-based cannabis company, was the first downtown Mitchell dispensary to be approved. The company is in the process of renovating the former OverTime Steakhouse and Lounge to bring downtown its first and only cannabis dispensary.


The front entrance of the former Overtime Steakhouse building in Mitchell where a cannabis company is seeking to transform into a medical marijuana dispensary.

Sam Fosness / Republic

The question remains whether there will be enough demand for what could be five dispensaries operating in Mitchell at once.

As of Tuesday, there were a total of 7,550 medical marijuana card-holders in the state, according to the Department of Health.

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