Are you looking for South Dakota medical marijuana program updates? Well here is what you need to know. Over the past 15 years, there has been a long fight to legalize the use of medical marijuana in South Dakota.
In 2006 and 2010, the legalization of medical marijuana appeared on election ballots, only to unfortunately fail both times. In 2015, there was an effort to place another initiative on the ballot for the 2016 election; however, the Marijuana Policy Project did not foresee financially supporting it due to stronger marijuana campaigns that were taking place in other states that needed more attention. Another attempt was made in November of 2017 when activists submitted over 15,000 signatures in hopes of getting medical marijuana legalization on the 2018 ballot. This initiative also failed due to an inadequate number of valid signatures.
Fast forward to 2020, the Initiated Measure 26 was approved on the ballot as 70% of South Dakota voters supported the legalization of medical marijuana use for patients who have a debilitating medical condition, and the legislation officially went into effect on July 1.
While South Dakota advocates celebrate their long-awaited victory after an uphill battle, potential medical marijuana patients in the state are reminded of the benefits that come with being a cardholder, such as:
- Saving on tax for purchases at the dispensary
- Paying cheaper prices for their medication
- Obtaining statutory legal protection
- Receiving medical-grade marijuana that can help with their condition
- Having the ability to grow their own cannabis plants at home
Things To Know About South Dakotas Medical Marijuana Program
While the legalization of medical marijuana is becoming more widespread across the United States, each state has its own guidelines and rules in place under its law. If you are thinking about obtaining your South Dakota medical marijuana card and becoming a patient, here are a few things you should know:
- Registering: Patients must obtain a South Dakota medical marijuana card and be registered as a patient with the South Dakota Department of Health. At My Marijuana Cards we can assist in your prequalification.
- Sign up and fill out our pre-qualify forms and you can expect to get additional information and updates as November 18, 2021 approaches.
- Purchasing Medical Marijuana: Medical marijuana can be purchased from any licensed dispensary in South Dakota once they open.
- Possession Limit: South Dakota medical marijuana patients can possess up to three ounces of marijuana at a given time.
- 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 conditions.
- Home Cultivation: Patients are permitted to grow up to three plants at home. Depending on the condition, a doctor may authorize the cultivation of a greater amount.
The state’s medical marijuana 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.
Initiated Measure 26 requires the regulatory framework of the program to be generated within 120 days of its taking effect, or by October 29, 2021, and the first medical marijuana cards to patients need to be issued within 140 days, or by November 18, 2021. South Dakota House Representative, Mike Derby, stated that he believes this should be a sufficient amount of time to have the South Dakota medical marijuana program established, and patients should be able to begin applying for their medical marijuana cards by November 2021.
Qualifying For A South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card
Before patients can access the soon to be opened dispensaries to 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 medical cannabis, 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 one or more of the following medical conditions:
- 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.
A process will be available in the future for South Dakota residents to petition to add additional qualifying conditions to the list.
Documents Required To Register For A South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card
Once you schedule an appointment with a certified physician, there will be a few pieces of documentation you may need to provide in order to get approved for a South Dakota medical marijuana card. Don’t worry, this is what My Marijuana Cards is here for. 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 DOH and they will send you an official copy of your identification card so you can begin accessing dispensaries.
When Are Dispensaries Opening 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.
However, South Dakota’s first medical marijuana dispensary, The Native Nations Dispensary, opened its doors on July 1, 2021. This facility is special not only because it was the first to open in the state, but it is operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The dispensary is being operated through FSST Pharms, LLC, a company owned by the tribe, and is located on the Flandreau Indian Reservation.
Now you might be wondering how individuals are able to make a purchase from Native Nations Dispensary without the issuance of cards from the South Dakota Department of Health currently taking place? In short, the tribe established its own medical marijuana program which is independent of the state’s program that will be operated by the DOH. The tribe’s program is also not bound by the voter-approved Initiated Measure 26.
Similar to the guidelines of the state’s program, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe issued their own medical marijuana cards to individuals and also accepted cards from out-of-state patients. Patients were legally allowed to possess 3 ounces or less of medical marijuana and had products available such as vape cartridges, nectars, pre-rolls, and waxes.
Can I Grow My Own Medical Marijuana In South Dakota?
One of the most exciting aspects of the South Dakota medical marijuana program is that registered patients will be allowed to cultivate up to three cannabis plants in their home. Depending on the patient’s medical condition, a doctor may authorize the cultivation of a greater amount.
South Dakota is the now 20th state out of the 36 states where medical marijuana is legal that allows home-grow. Home cultivation can offer a wide variety of benefits to patients such as having the ability to grow cannabis strains that are tailored specifically to their medical needs, having quality control over the plants they grow, and also the potential to save money.
More rules and regulations regarding home-grow can expect to be established as the medical marijuana program in South Dakota is implemented.
Schedule An Appointment To Pre-Qualify For Your South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card
Since patients will not be able to receive their recommendation until the medical marijuana program in South Dakota establishes the guidelines and rules for the program, 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 through every step.
We have telemedicine appointments available so you can meet with one of our doctors right from the safety and comfort of your own home. Give us a call at (877) 783-1805 to learn more, or schedule your appointment online today!