Flower Shop Dispensary laid its claim Friday afternoon as the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Sioux Falls.
The store opened almost two years after the state passed Initiated Measure 26 to legalize medical cannabis, and after being the first of five businesses to win medical marijuana licenses in a lottery run by the city of Sioux Falls almost one year ago.
Owner Peter Dikun, a Dell Rapids resident who was born in Czechoslovakia, is proud his business’ application was the first ball drawn in the lottery, the No. 1 ball and the first to open in the city. The property he owns near the intersection of 49th and Western was in the city’s “green zone” for dispensaries, so he jumped on the chance to turn it into a dispensary.
“We just got lucky,” he said of the chance to open the business at 2211 West 49th Street, named for the flowers on the marijuana plant that can be smoked.”
Flower Shop Dispensary is the third state-licensed medical marijuana facility to open in South Dakota, following Unity Rd. in Hartford and Dakota Natural Solutions Grow in Wessington Springs, both servicing patients with South Dakota medical cannabis cards.
The first dispensary located in South Dakota was Native Nations Cannabis in Flandreau and services those with tribal cards.
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After opening doors to customers at about 3 p.m. Friday, Dikun saw people “trickle in little by little.” Friday saw about 40 customers; Saturday, 80; Sunday, 40; and, another 20 before noon on Monday morning alone.
Customers need a state-issued medical marijuana card and must be older than 21 to purchase at the store. Dikun said he’s seen “all kinds” of customers and patients in his store, varying in age. So far, the majority of customers are those close to their 60s, and are professionals with various kinds of ailments, he said.
“This is their choice of relief instead of taking opiates or (other) prescriptions,” he said.
There are five different strains of flower customers can purchase, as well as hemp-based edibles, which Dikun said he can purchase across state lines. Flowers are stored in jars and dispensed “deli-style” from the jars, weighed in front of customers at the point-of-sale stations.
Buds or flowers can be smoked by pipe, water pipe or pre-rolled in joints, Dikun explained, whereas edibles are eaten. There are a variety of edibles: everything from non-THC CBD oil or melatonin for sleeping and anti-inflammatory purposes, or taffy and brownies, for example.
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Dikun explained the doctors who prescribe medical marijuana cards in South Dakota recommend the treatment, not a certain dosage, so that when patients come to his store, either he or one of five other employees walk customers through options and point them in the right direction.
“A majority of people, about 98%, are already familiar with these products,” Dikun said of the more than 2,000 patients who’ve obtained South Dakota medical marijuana cards so far. “There’s a lot of closeted stoners out there.”
Dikun said it takes about one year for markets to mature in any given city that starts a medical marijuana program. Every time customers visit his store, there will be something new on the shelves, he added.
His store gets its supply of flowers from a local cultivator in Tea known as Pure Bliss Farms, which Dikun said has about 10 employees and operates about 7,000 square feet of plants.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Flower Shop Dispensary opens as first medical marijuana shop in Sioux Falls