In June, South Dakota’s medical marijuana program, which began in 2016, will come to an end after its coveted one-year extension. But the program is still far from perfect.
On Wednesday, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the governing body for the state’s public higher education system, will vote whether to allow South Dakota’s medical marijuana program to take full effect on July 1. That’s the first step in making the state the latest in the nation to allow the use of medical marijuana for treatment of a variety of medical conditions.
The state of South Dakota is coming closer to a deadline to complete the process of importing all of its federally prescribed medical marijuana from other states into the state. The state currently has a pilot program operating, which allows patients using medical cannabis to purchase it from the four dispensaries in the state.
What exactly is going to happen on the 1st. Legal July ? asked Alex, of Sioux Falls, at the beginning of a public forum held on Monday, July 28. June, was hosted by the South Dakota Department of Health.
The call was announced as an opportunity for the public to provide input on the state law implementation process, and callers gave DHS officials plenty of food for thought on a state law that was approved by 70% of voters and is still in effect after an alternative legislative plan failed in the final days of the session. In this plan signed by Governor Christie Noah, the pandemic emergency results in a delay of six months to a year.
No state has implemented a medical marijuana program so quickly – with the exception of Oklahoma, and on and on, Governor Noem said at a press conference in early March.
Some officials in their own executive branch will be quick to say the governor was right.
Last week, the Department of Health released a 105-page draft regulation to be written under the terms of the Measure 26 initiative. They describe everything about the state’s medical marijuana program, from the cost ($5,000) of obtaining a marijuana license to mandatory parking at dispensaries.
So they faced the voters this week.
At the first of two public meetings held by the health department Monday night, residents asked questions ranging from the availability of medical marijuana cards for low-income residents (which can be applied for through the health department this fall) to why the state wouldn’t necessarily recognize cards from other states.
A caller calling himself Kevin noted that gun licenses and driver’s licenses are valid in every state, so why aren’t marijuana cards valid in every state?
That’s a good question, Kevin, said Kim Malsam-Risdon, secretary of health. Each state program is unique in some way.
What will happen next Thursday – July 1, the day the law takes effect – is largely symbolic. South Dakota residents may not possess cultivated marijuana, in gum, flower or any of the other forms listed, until next summer. Doctors in South Dakota must first certify that medical marijuana treats the debilitating disease (state officials repeatedly stress that it is not a prescription). The patient must then apply to the Ministry of Health. Finally, the cardholder can purchase the product from a legally operating dispensary in South Dakota.
Another legal provision that took effect Thursday would be an affirmative defense that marijuana users can raise in local court when charged with a crime – such a defense, Pennington County’s assistant district attorney said last month, would make it unnecessary to prosecute someone for a small amount of marijuana.
Jonathan Hunt, a first-time cannabis consultant who has set up distribution sites in several states, including Colorado, told Forum News Service on Tuesday 29. June, in a facility on the Flandreau Indian Reservation that will open Thursday, that he does not yet see any major obstacles in the implementation process in South Dakota.
It happens a lot, Hunt said.
In addition to her, Melissa Mentele, architect of IM 26 and its companion, Constitutional Amendment A, which legalized recreational marijuana use but was blocked by a district court, also acknowledged that she thought the rules put in place by the health department were appropriate.
It’s all in the law, Mentele said.
And there is still a lot of work to do. The draft rules will be presented to the Legislative Rules Committee in September. Department of Education rules on cannabis use on college campuses were rejected by the same committee earlier this month.A new medical marijuana law in South Dakota takes effect July 1, 2017, and in the months since the law passed, state officials have worked to prepare for a market in which patients will be able to purchase cannabis oil for any of the 21 qualifying medical conditions.. Read more about new jersey legalization bill and let us know what you think.
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