MITCHELL — After an unsuccessful first attempt at opening a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Mitchell, Genesis Farms received the green light Monday to set up shop inside a vacant downtown building.
The Mitchell City Council unanimously approved Genesis Farms’ conditional use permit and license to operate a medical cannabis dispensary at the former OverTime Steakhouse and Lounge, a move that put the first dispensary in the downtown corridor.
While there were a couple nearby property owners who were opposed to the OverTime building transforming into a marijuana dispensary, Genesis Farms — a South Dakota cannabis company — faced fewer hurdles this time around compared to the previous proposed location on Fifth Avenue and Main Street.
“I’m really looking forward to doing business in Mitchell. I think we finally found a good fit for a location,” said Emmett Reistroffer, the operations manager of Genesis Farms.
Although the council approved the plan, a couple nearby property owners submitted letters opposing the dispensary location.
One nearby property owner submitted a letter recommending denial of the dispensary, claiming it’s a residential area that should not have a marijuana dispensary. However, the OverTime building sits in a central business district and not a residential zone.
A local bank, furniture store, radio station, fitness facility and metal fabrication shop are a few of the businesses that surround the dispensary building. While there are a few residential homes near the building, City Planner Mark Jenniges said the homes were grandfathered into the area years ago.
Reistroffer emphasized the dispensary will meet all the “security and safety” requirements needed to operate.
As for the aesthetics of the business, Reistroffer said the exterior of the building will “look like a dentist office,” not a cannabis business.
Genesis Farms’ first attempt at opening a Main Street dispensary was shot down in April due to the close proximity of a church and a few nearby property owners’ opposition. As part of the city’s zoning codes for cannabis establishments, a dispensary cannot be within 300 feet of a religious institution or 1,000 feet from another dispensary.
Genesis Farms has secured dispensary licenses in several major South Dakota cities, including Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Yankton. Genesis Farms opened the first dispensary in Sioux Falls in September.
The downtown dispensary makes it the fourth location to be approved in Mitchell. The three cannabis businesses that have been approved are all located on the south side of Mitchell, and none have yet to open, in large part due to the state’s regulatory process.
As of Oct. 31, there were a little over 4,000 medical marijuana cards issued to South Dakotans, according to records from the state’s Department of Health.
The former OverTime building has housed bars and restaurants for over four decades. The 5,600-square-foot building sat vacant for over a year while listed on the market until Genesis Farms began its pursuit to turn it into a dispensary. Property records indicate that the building’s most recent sale was $125,000 through a warranty deed.