A Question of Residency

Belle Fourche News

BELLE FOURCHE — The question of what constitutes residency in the county was brought up at the regular September County Commission meeting held on Tuesday. During Public Comment, Sue Broadhurst brought some research she had done on the board members’ residence of GLP LLC manufacturing and cultivation facilities.

According to Butte County Ordinance #2021-02, Section 3 (4)(c.v), a permit application must have “A certification that at least one officer or board member of the prospective cannabis establishment is a resident of Butte County, South Dakota.” Under the initial application Rod Woodruff had initialed each item that testified that at least one board officer was a Butte County resident and that application was approved last year. However, according to Broadhurst, none of the officers held legal residence in the county. She concluded by encouraging the commissioners to not renew GLP licenses for manufacturing and cultivation.

South Dakota codified law (SDCL 12-1-4) the “term residence means the place in which a person is domiciled as shown by an actual fixed permanent dwelling, establishment, or any other abode to which the person returns after a period of absence. A person is considered to have gained residence in any county or municipality of this state in which the person actually lives, if the person has no present intention of leaving.”

As Broadhurst pointed out, none of the board members of GLP Custer had a residence in the county where they lived or had any intention of living, although Woodruff does own a house in the county. He does not, however, have a vehicle licensed in Butte County or is registered to vote in the county.

The vote to renew GLP Custer Manufacturing and Cultivation later in the meeting was unanimous to deny renewal.

Commissioner James Ager first moved to accept so that there would be discussion of the renewal license, pointing out that because of the residency requirement the license should be denied. That motion was met with all votes Nay.

Commissioner Chad Erk then moved to deny the renewal. The Roll Call vote came in with all Ayes. The commissioners were warned by Travis Ismay that cannabis facilities could be breaking their license agreements since the facilities are not being inspected.

“You don’t know if they are in compliance,” he said.

“Roads are not in good shape and are not safe,” said Dale Simanton when he spoke during Public Comments. He encouraged the commissioners to think about putting money into road improvements rather than look at the idea of new court and law enforcement buildings.

Jake Johnson, General Manager of Redwater Cannabis, asked that the hours of operation be considered again and that the ordinance be amended. He wanted to clarify that no other similar business has restricted operating hours and that there is no legal precedent to restrict hours.

Johnson challenged anyone in the Commissioners’ Room to offer a logical reason for any restrictions.

According to Johnson, medical cannabis is less dangerous than aspirin due to no documented deaths due to THC overdose. Research shows that there are cases, but none are officially documented and are ambiguous as to the result of using cannabis.

Johnson appealed to the commissioners’ decision and is willing to bring more information that will clarify any questions.

Bill Kluck introduced the commissioners to a petition asking for support for the sheep industry in the United States. It is an attempt by American sheep ranchers to limit Australian and New Zealand lamb imports into the US. The petition was developed by R-CALF USA Sheep Committee.

The project petitions the US Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai for relief from lamb and mutton imports that the group claims has decimated the US commercial sheep industry.

Kluck was asking the commissioners for a letter of support for the petition stating that because the sheep industry is a large part of Butte County ag economy, it is important to show support.

Sheriff Fred Lamphere reported on the progress of the possibility of using the old Shopko building for law enforcement. He said that he should have a cost analysis and more information by the September 19 meeting.

Lamphere stated that there was a surplus of firearms in evidence and would recommend trading them to a reputable dealer.

He is looking for a 24/7 technician. The position would be under 20 hours per week.

The next regular commission meeting will be September 19 at 6 p.m. in the County Courthouse. If the crowd is large, the meeting will possibly be moved upstairs.