LAKE ANDES — A Lake Andes couple hopes their medical marijuana dispensary will help their town as well as South Dakota patients seeking medical cannabis options.
Roy Wade and DeRae Wade both belong to the Yankton Sioux Tribe. They are also co-owners and co-owners Indigenous Budz, a medical cannabis dispensary set to open in the summer in Lake Andes.
The legalization of medical marijuana in South Dakota was made effective July 1. Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe opened the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary. This dispensary did not need state approval. The Wades’ dispensary is the first indigenous-owned cannabis establishment approved by the state.
DeRae Wade had hoped to open a cannabis dispensary in order to help her brother, who was diagnosed with cancer and would need ongoing treatment.
“My ambition to get this going and bring it home is because my brother is fighting multiple myeloma, and one of my aunts is, also,”DeRae stated. “I had come across research done in Canada that with the right ratio of CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) taken with maintenance chemo, done in their research on multiple-myeloma patients, it had actually decreased the proliferation of the cancer cells.”
According to the U.S. National Institute of Health website.
“My goal is to bring it home, not just for the many cancer patients, but for everybody, for those that are fighting to have an option,”She spoke.
Roy Wade has been following the developments in medical cannabis since 1991, when it was legalized in California. Wade was insistent about working closely to obtain a license when Lake Andes announced plans.
“They said they were building an ordinance and they were going to let us know,”Wade said. “I would go every week or every couple of days to see what was going on and make sure I was on the list.”
The Wades were the first to approve the new ordinance. They had to present their business plan at a public meeting to ensure compliance, and also identified and purchased a site.
“That’s what got us started,”Wade said that applying to the State was a separate process. “Then, we had to hand all of our application stuff in for the state, which was a $5,000 non-refundable fee. We got that turned in on Oct. 29.”
While they waited anxiously for their license to be approved, the Wades began renovations at the dispensary on Highway 281 just outside Fort Randall Casino.
Roy Wade pointed out that the couple tried to source local labor and materials as much as possible during that time. He also stated that the couple will donate 2% of their income to the Pink Ladies Cancer Group and the Lakes Andes Childhood Cancer Treatment Center.
The Wades finally realized their dream of owning and operating medical cannabis dispensaries last week when they received their approval from the state Department of Health.
Wade said that once the official permission has been granted, the only thing left is to stock the shelves and finish remodeling the shop. Wade also mentioned that there are many delivery methods that cannabis medicines may be delivered.
“There are different strains of flowers, edibles, tinctures, oils and topicals,”He said. “We’re a grass-roots, homegrown family businesses, and we want to bring the medicines to the people.”