Recreational: Illegal pending court challenge
Nearly eight months after voters approved two measures on Election Day in November 2020 that legalized both medical and adult-use marijuana, medical marijuana became legal in South Dakota on July 1, 2021. The adult-use legalization is being challenged in court and therefore has not yet been implemented.
Now that the new law has gone into effect, the South Dakota Revenue Department has until April 2022 to create regulations for the legal cannabis industry in the state.
In late June, members of the Flandreau Santiee Sioux Tribe announced plans to open the state’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary on July 1, located on tribal land. The dispensary opened before the state began issuing medical marijuana ID cards, but the tribe said they will begin accepting applications through an independent tribal program.
According to the Argus Leader, the tribe will charge a $50 application fee and prospective applicants must receive certification from a medical professional that they have a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, including but not limited to AIDS, cancer, arthritis, migraines, and glaucoma, among others.
How to get a medical card in South Dakota
Measure 26 legalizes “the use, delivery, manufacture — and for state residents, cultivation of marijuana and marijuana-based products to treat or alleviate debilitating medical conditions certified by the patients’ practitioners.”
Under Measure 26, a medical marijuana cardholder can legally possess 3 ounces of marijuana, and if they are approved for cultivation, they may possess “a minimum of three plants, as well as marijuana and products made from those plants.”
The cannabis products allowed under the new law include concentrated cannabis, cannabis extracts, and products that are infused with cannabis or an extract thereof and are intended for use or consumption by humans.
Under the new law, the state has up to 141 days after the effective date of the law to issue registry identification cards to patients who submit the following:
- A written certification issued by a practitioner within 90 days immediately preceding the date of an application
- An application fee
- The name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient
- The name, address, and phone number of the qualifying patient’s practitioner
- The name, address, and date of birth of the designated caregiver if there is one
- The name of two qualifying dispensaries that the patient designates
The information must be verified within 15 days of its being received.
As of now, the exact process for submitting the documents has not been determined.
A patient in South Dakota may receive medical marijuana if they have a “bona fide practitioner-patient relationship” with a health practitioner who has consulted with them regarding their “debilitating medical condition.”
There isn’t a set list of conditions, rather, the text of the bill states that these debilitating medical conditions include “a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis; or any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department.”
The law allows for any resident of the state to petition to allow additional medical conditions to be added to the list.
The measure does not require insurance providers to cover cannabis treatments.
Non-residents holding medical cannabis cards will be able to access the program in South Dakota.
Where to buy cannabis in South Dakota
The South Dakota Revenue Department has until April 2022 to create regulation for the legal cannabis industry in the state. Only then will dispensaries be licensed and allowed to open.
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