South Dakota Kick-Starts Its Medical Cannabis Program

Politics News - South Dakota Kick-Starts Its Medical Cannabis Program

Following the latest medical cannabis regulations, South Dakota has officially started its medical cannabis program.

On July 1, 2021, medical marijuana became legal in South Dakota after the approval of the Initiated Measure 26 (the medical marijuana initiative) in last year’s presidential elections.

And as an interesting bit of trivia — a Day County resident was the very first South Dakotan to receive a medical marijuana card, and more are on the way!

However, Geno Adams, the Medical Cannabis Program Administrator, explains that this cannabis program was the product of months of hard preparatory work, as well as the dedication of Republican Governor Kristi Noem.

In addition to that, South Dakotans passed the bill to legalize recreational marijuana (by a 54% majority). Still, circuit court judge Christina Klinger overturned it on February 8, 2021.

Fortunately, the circuit court’s decision is not definitive since it can be appealed to the State Supreme Court.

Last month, the task force of the medicinal marijuana measure (IM26) met to discuss and approve new rules regarding medical marijuana for what we all hope to be a timely and efficient medical cannabis program for those who need it most.

Also, legalizing recreational cannabis will be great since cannabis accounts for one in ten arrests in Mount Rushmore State.

What’s more, IM26 will also issue a pamphlet with helpful instructions on storing their medical cannabis safely and responsibly at home for those who applied for and acquired a medical cannabis card.

Moreover, a condition that allows a patient to use medicinal cannabis must be a debilitating one as defined by SDCL 34-20G-1. These include:

  • severe, debilitating pain
  • seizures
  • severe nausea 
  • recurrent muscle spasms
  • cachexia (the wasting syndrome)

Earlier this year, Alabama also green-lighted medicinal marijuana by signing its bill into law, which means that medicinal marijuana is now officially legal in 36 American States!