Newest updates on South Dakota Medical Marijuana Program. On July 1, medical marijuana legalization in South Dakota went into effect after Initiated Measure 26 was approved by 70% of South Dakota voters. This means that individuals who are living with a qualifying medical condition will be able to gain access to medical marijuana treatment.
The state’s program will be implemented and operated by the South Dakota Department of Health. Although the law went into effect on July 1, the program is not currently up and running just yet.
Recently, the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee, who are responsible for approving administration rules, stated that some changes still need to be made to the proposed regulations of the program as they approved 143 of 149 of the rules.
New Rule Changes Recommended For South Dakota’s Medical Cannabis Program
While the Rules Review Committee approved most of the proposed regulations, they sent back a few of proposals to the Department of Health that will need to be reevaluated.
One of the first significant rules that will be revisited is the list of medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment. Representative Jon Hansen suggested for the state Department of Health to currently hold off on it’s initial proposed list of eight medical conditions which included the following:
- AIDS/ HIV
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe, debilitating pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided for in section 26 of this act.
There is a petition process being developed that people will be able to utilize to add debilitating medical conditions to the list.
During the time of the proposal review, these original qualifying conditions could stay the same or more could potentially be added. Hansen stated that South Dakota law required the medical marijuana’s program rules to first be in place before the Department of Health shares the final list.
Senator Timothy Johns succeeded in removing a proposed restriction that no medical marijuana patient may possess more than four grams of smokable cannabis with a THC content more than 60%.
Other rules that were rejected by the Review Committee are as follows:
- Patients certified to grow their own cannabis at home could have only three plants, unless a physician specifically recommended more.
- A proposed ban against advertising and broadcasting of cannabis.
- A proposed requirement that deliveries to retail outlets needed to be pre-packaged.
Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon stated that her department will be considering next steps in the process and all updates will be posted to the South Dakota Medical Cannabis website.
Current Things To Know About South Dakota's Medical Marijuana Program
While the Department of Health continues to make changes to the proposed program rules, there are a few current guidelines established in Initiated Measure 26 that can be important for patients to know as we await the finalized updates.
- Registering: Patients must obtain a South Dakota medical marijuana card and be registered as a patient with the South Dakota Department of Health in order to visit dispensaries.
- Purchasing Medical Marijuana: Medical marijuana can be purchased from any licensed dispensary in South Dakota once they open.
- Caregivers: Patients are able to designate a caregiver who can visit, purchase, transport, and administer medical marijuana on the patient’s behalf. This is especially beneficial for patients who are physically unable to go to a dispensary due to their medical condition(s).
Initiated Measure 26 requires the regulatory framework of the program to be generated within 120 days of its taking effect, or by October 29, and the first medical marijuana cards to patients need to be issued within 140 days, or by November 18. South Dakota House Representative, Mike Derby, previously stated that he believed this should be a sufficient amount of time to have the program established, and patients should be able to begin applying for their medical marijuana cards by November 2021. However, due to the rule changes that need to be made, it is uncertain whether or not this could possibly push back that date.
What Are The Benefits of Having a South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card?
With medical marijuana being new to South Dakota, you may have questions or want to know more about how becoming a registered patient can benefit you. If you’re wondering whether the process can be right for you, here are a few benefits to obtaining your card.
- Save on tax for purchases at the dispensary
- Pay cheaper prices for medication
- Obtain statutory legal protection
- Select from a variety of high quality products at licensed dispensaries
- Receive medical-grade marijuana that can help with your condition
How Can I Qualify For a South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card?
Before patients can access a licensed South Dakota dispensary once they open and purchase products, they must first visit a certified physician who can recommend medical marijuana treatment so they can obtain their card. In order to qualify for SD Medical Marijuana, individuals must be at least 18 years or older (patients under 18 years of age must have parental consent), be a South Dakota resident, and have a qualifying medical condition.
Due to the current status of the program and the reevaluation of the administration rules, there is no finalized list of qualifying conditions at this time. Once the program gets approval of the modified proposals, the South Dakota Department of Health will be able to offer the full list of conditions.
Documents Required To Get a South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card
Once you schedule an appointment with a certified doctor, there will be a few pieces of documentation you may need to provide in order to get approved for your medical marijuana card. The following may include:
- A valid ID, state ID, or South Dakota Driver’s License
- Medical records documenting the diagnosis of your qualifying condition(s) may also be required during the time of your appointment for the doctor to review.
Once approved by the physician, you will need to submit an application along with your written recommendation from the doctor to the South Dakota Department of Health. A non-refundable application fee must also be submitted at this time in order to have your application reviewed. Once approved, you will be notified by the Department of Health and they will send you an official copy of your identification card so you can begin accessing dispensaries.
Are Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open In South Dakota?
Dispensaries in South Dakota are anticipated to begin opening by next year and patients can expect to have a wide variety of cannabis flower, edibles, vape, topicals, waxes, and more to select from. Under Initiated Measure 26, the Department of Health is in the works of accepting applications for potential medical marijuana retailers. In the meantime, the state is also creating rules and regulations around how retailers will be issued and continue to possess their licenses for retail. Since the new medical marijuana law has just recently gone into effect, more information regarding dispensary licenses and locations will follow soon. The bill has not stated a limit on how many dispensaries can be established, but we assume facilities will be located in major cities across the state like Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, and Watertown.
In early September, an update in Sioux Falls was announced that the city council passed a medical cannabis licensing ordinance that will cap the number of medical dispensaries in the city at five. Although the exact locations of the five facilities have not yet been determined, the dispensaries will have to be 500 feet from daycares, churches, parks, attached dwellings and detached dwellings and will also have to be 1,000 feet from schools.
The Rapid City Council also recently approved ordinances which will limit the number of dispensaries to 15 within city limits.
Schedule An Appointment To Pre-Qualify For Your South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card
Although South Dakota residents will not be able to receive their medical marijuana recommendation until the state program finalizes the rules and guidelines, patients can still pre-qualify and be ready to submit their applications once the registry opens. At My Marijuana Cards, we are here to make the process of getting pre-qualified for your medical marijuana card fast and simple! Our team of understanding doctors and knowledgeable patient coordinators are here to assist you every step of the way.
We have telemedicine appointments available so you can meet with one of our doctors right from the comfort of your own home using your phone, computer or tablet. Give us a call at (877) 783-1805 to learn more, or schedule your south dakota Medical marijuana appointment online today!