Harrisburg unanimously approves medical marijuana dispensary application

If approved by the state, Harrisburg's dispensary would be the first in town and the seventh in Lincoln County.

Marijuana buds_stock photo
Medical marijuana was legalized in South Dakota by public vote in 2020. After a passed measure for recreational marijuana was found unconstitutional, a second vote to legalize recreational use failed in 2022.
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HARRISBURG — Harrisburg is one step closer to seeing the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary open up shop, after aldermen approved a new business proposal at their latest city council meeting.

The approval came in unanimous fashion on Tuesday, Feb. 7, with city aldermen approving 4-0 an application for Horska LLC to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a building currently under construction at 715 Faith Ave., two blocks east of the intersection of Cliff Avenue and 272nd Street.

In his pitch to the Harrisburg City Council, co-owner Ned Horstad — who graduated from Harrisburg in 2004 — said he and partner Kyle Peska aim for their dispensary to serve as an addition to the city’s already-expanding business scene.

“I was a little surprised when we started looking around … that you still have licenses available. I thought it would be pretty cool being born and raised here to take a crack at it,” Horstad said. “We’re hopeful we could make it work and have it be a nice additional business for the Harrisburg community.”

With the approval comes the city’s signatures on the Local Government Compliance Certification, a document acknowledging the city’s approval, which Horstad and Peska will submit to the South Dakota Department of Health. Horstad said the state will have a 90-day period to approve or deny the certification.


Should the certification be approved, Horstad told aldermen the business could open as soon as the building that Horska plans to rent is complete, which Peska estimated could be within the 90-day timeline for the certification to be returned.

The business partners won’t need to wait for the cannabis to be cultivated, as both serve as executives at Worthing-based 605 Cannabis — Horstad as CEO and Peska as vice president.

According to data from the South Dakota Department of Health, more than 7,300 medical marijuana cards were in circulation in the state, and Horstad told aldermen that he expects to see that number continue to grow.

Harrisburg City Administrator Andrew Pietrus told Sioux Falls Live that talks are already underway for a second Kwik Trip location to open along Minnesota Avenue, as well.

“There are 7,337 statewide holders as of Monday [Feb. 6], and we’re keeping an eye on that number. It’s on an upward trajectory,” Horstad said. “The first cards that were issued are starting to expire, and people are renewing, so we’re in a lull before it’ll climb again.”

Hearing that statistic prompted city administrator Andrew Pietrus to ask Horstad whether the business would alter its model should recreational marijuana become legal.

“Some [local governments] have felt that [dispensaries] were just trying to get established before that happened. Is that part of your thought process?” Pietrus asked. “Are you zeroing in on this mission? Would you ever, if the law changes, see your location here wanting to change the nature of it?”

Horstad said that while the business model is currently tailored toward providing patients with marijuana strictly for medical purposes, he wouldn’t be opposed to opening up for recreational sales, should it become legal.

The Big Orange Food Truck is planning to open inside the former Harrisburgers location on East Willow Street in Harrisburg.

“Right now, we’re definitely focused on serving patients in the medical market, as that’s all that is legal to do right now. I don’t have a crystal ball. In the 2022 election, I think it was pretty popular in Harrisburg, but recreational did go down at the ballot box,” Horstad said.


Though Initiated Measure 27 was defeated by a margin of just 249 votes out of the nearly 28,000 in Lincoln County as a whole, 57% of voters at Harrisburg’s two precincts cast their ballot in favor of recreational marijuana.

“Whether or not there's an attempt on that in 2024, it's all sort of a guessing game,” Horstad said. “Certainly we’d like that opportunity if it happens, but that's not really a decision we can make today.”

After hearing Horstad speak for roughly 11 minutes, the council approved the application with no discussion between aldermen.

“We have not had an applicant get this far,” Pietrus said with a laugh. “They obviously have their stuff together, a bit better than previous applicants.”

Horstad and Peska’s dispensary would be the first in Harrisburg and the seventh in Lincoln County.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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