South Dakota Marijuana Laws

What do marijuana laws look like in South Dakota? Everything could change in South Dakota this election. Here’s everything you need to know about South Dakota Cannabis Laws.

South Dakota Marijuana LawsSouth Dakota Marijuana Laws

South Dakota marijuana laws could change drastically come November. South Dakota will be voting on both medical and recreational cannabis this election. We were recently joined by Drey Samuelson and Melissa Mentele from South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws to discuss the two cannabis measures South Dakotans will see on their ballot.

Is marijuana legal in South Dakota?

Listen to our PodCast Cannabis Legalization News or Watch the YouTube titled South Dakota Marijuana Laws | Cannabis in South Dakota – Is Marijuana Legal in South Dakota? for related information.

South Dakota Cannabis Legalization Podcast


RELATED POST: Pennsylvania Adult-Use Cannabis Laws

South Dakota Cannabis Legalization

South Dakota is on the road to become the first state in the United States to go from no legalized cannabis industry to the legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis in the same ballot on November 3rd, 2020. 

Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26 will reform South Dakota’s Marijuana Laws. One would legalize the adult purchase and possession of Cannabis and the other would legalize medical Marijuana.

Here are all the details you need to know about this bill, supported by the organizations South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, Marijuana Policy Project and New Approach PAC and endorsed by over 50 South Dakota leaders involved in healthcare business and politics.

South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A

Constitutional Amendment A would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for individuals 21 years old and older allowing the possession or distribution of up to one ounce of marijuana. 

This initiative would allow local governments to limit or even ban marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, wholesalers, or retail stores from operating in its limits. Although, transportation of marijuana on public roads by those who are licensed would not be prohibited. 

Those who live in a jurisdiction with no licensed retail store the growing of up to three marijuana plants is permitted, not more than six plants of marijuana in the same residence at a time, and they must be kept at a private residence in a locked space. 

Fines could be up to $250 if homegrown are visible to the public or kept in an unlock space, or if the plants are being grown in a jurisdiction that has retail stores and has not authorized homegrow.

The consumption of marijuana in public places or places not licensed by the department of consumption are not permitted. 

The amendment allows fines up to $100 for those who do not comply. And establishes a penalty of the same amount or four hours of drug education and counseling for minors who possess or consume marijuana.

It is predicted that the recreational use of marijuana could raise more than $10 million in the fiscal year 2022 and more than double that number by 2024.

Once this amendment passes it will absorb the Initiated Measure 26, South Dakota’s Medical Program, protecting it from any modifications to the intent of the bill.

South Dakota Marijuana Laws – Amendment A PDF

South Dakota Marijuana Laws

Initiated Measure 26

Initiated Measure 26 establishes a medical marijuana program in South Dakota for individuals who have a “debilitating medical condition”, including minors, as certified by a physician. 

These individuals would be allowed to possess up to three ounces of marijuana. Also, patients registered to cultivate marijuana at home could grow three plants at minimum, or any amount prescribed by a physician

The 95-sections measure legalizes marijuana testing, manufacturing, and cultivation facilities. It also legalizes marijuana dispensaries, as long as they are registered by the department.

The Department of Health would be required, in the first 120 days of the effective date of the initiative, meaning before October 29, 2021, to enact rules related to implementing the medical marijuana program in South Dakota. 

Additionally, the Department of Health would have to issue registry identification cards to qualified patients the first 140 days as well.

The Measure defines debilitating medical condition as follows:

  • A chronic 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.

Any resident of South Dakota may petition the Department to add a new serious medical condition or treatment to the list of debilitating medical conditions. That petition would be considered by the department and approved or denied within 180 days of submitting.

This measure does not authorize individuals to smoke cannabis in public places or any form of public transportation, nor operate any kind of vehicle under the influence of cannabis. Nor prohibits employers from taking measures against an employee for ingesting cannabis in the workplace or working under the influence of Cannabis.

For qualifying patients under 18, a registry identification card would only be issued if:

  • The patient’s practitioner has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis to the parents or guardian;
  • The parents or guardian with the responsibility of healthcare decisions consent in writing to: Allow the qualifying patient the medical use of cannabis, serve as designated caregivers, and control the acquisitions of cannabis, the dosages and the frequency of the use of cannabis

 Registry identification cards would expire after one year unless the practitioner states in writing that the qualifying patient would benefit from the use of cannabis until a specific earlier date.

The local government is not entitled to prohibit a dispensary, either expressly or by the enactment of an ordinance that makes its operation impractical in its jurisdiction. It may require medical cannabis establishments to obtain local licenses and pay established reasonable fees for its registration.

Initiated Measure 26 was drafted and envisioned to be an in-state industry. Making sure that South Dakotans are the primary beneficiaries and the ones that get to participate in the Cannabis industry in their State, ensuring their residents are the principal officers and voting members of their boards.

South Dakota Marijuana Laws – Initiated Measure 26 PDF

Cannabis Licenses in South Dakota

Under Amendment A, cannabis stores would be licensed by the Department of Revenue, who would be in charge of overseeing the adult-use cannabis retail program. Not ignoring that local governments would have the authority to prohibit any category of license. 

  • This measure establishes four types of licenses available:
  • License permitting to cultivate, process, manufacturer, transport and sell marijuana to marijuana wholesalers;
  • Licenses permitting independent marijuana testing facilities to analyze and certify the safety and potency of marijuana;
  • License permitting to package, process and prepare marijuana for transport and sale to retail sales outlets;
  • License permitting retail stores to sell and deliver marijuana to consumers.
  • This initiative also states that by April 2022 the Department would have to issue the necessary regulations for procedures of licenses, renewal, suspension and revocation of licenses, including application, qualifications and fees. 
  • Time periods could not exceed 90 days, by then the Department must have issued a response on the application, either accepting or rejecting it. 
  • The civil penalties for failing to comply with those requirements would be implemented by the Department as well

Under Initiated Measure 26, the license for medical marijuana dispensaries would be regulated by South Dakota’s Department of Health. Although, the local government may establish a limit to the number of medical cannabis establishments in its locality.

No later than 90 days after receiving an application for a medical cannabis establishment, if submitted all the requirements, the Department may register the prospective medical cannabis establishment, with a registration certificate and an identification number. 

South Dakota Cannabis Taxes

Under Amendment A, marijuana sales would be taxed at 15%. If considered necessary, the South Dakota Legislature could adjust the tax rate after November 3, 2024.

The tax revenue would be used by the Department of Revenue to cover costs associated with implementing the amendment, 50% of the remaining would be used to fund state public schools and 50% would be deposited in the state’s general fund. 

Under Initiated Measure 26, medical marijuana would not be taxed.

Both, Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26 would make South Dakota join the current 33 States and Washington D.C to legalize the use of medical marijuana and the 12 states to legalize the adult-use of recreational marijuana. If you are interested in more information about this bill for medical, recreational or business purposes don’t hesitate to contact us. 

South Dakota Cannabis Laws

South Dakota marijuana laws could change this year. The ballot voting is coming in November 2020, when South Dakota voters will consider applying the Constitutional Amendment A as part of recreational marijuana legalization in this state and Initiated Measure 26 for their medical marijuana program. . It will be a massive opportunity for recreational cannabis and medical cannabis to be included in the legalization bill. The voters have a privilege to say their opinion on both this year.

As many states have a ballot question on adults using cannabis in November, we are coming closer to the state legislature to regulate recreational weed legalization across the states. South Dakota is no exception, especially when we take a look at the previous initiatives that took place in recent years. The constitutional amendment is going through the revision, and the ballot will show if we can say that South Dakota cannabis legalization can take its full force this fall.

South Dakota Marijuana Laws

Is Marijuana Legal in South Dakota?

South Dakota marijuana laws, for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, deem cannabis as entirely illegal. It is obvious to see that the state needs many improvements when it comes to the state legislature in the area of the hemp industry.

Many possibilities are there for a valid medical marijuana program that could change the overall medical perspective of many patients. For this reason, we have voters who are for the full legalization within the law enforcement regulations.

South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 is on the ballot as an initiated statute planned to establish a medical marijuana program in the state. The medical marijuana law program considers the implementation of medical cannabis for patients with debilitating medical conditions certified by a physician.

These kinds of medical conditions include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe, debilitating pain
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Certain types of multiple sclerosis

The other conditions that are not listed are the subject of a physicians’ prescription according to the medical treatment related to the specific terms.

As part of the Initiated Measure 26, we can also talk about weed cultivation and growing of products. The marijuana reform will define and limit the cultivation of a specific number of plants that can be cultivated. Registered marijuana patients will be able to grow three plants, or a more considerable amount of plants if approved by a physician.

Along with Initiated Measure 26, the South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A will be voted on. This is a constitutional amendment required to define how to legalize marijuana possession, how to regulate marijuana law, and how to apply the sales tax system as part of the South Dakota marijuana legalization regulations.

By the word of our guests from the South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws organization, the Constitutional Amendment A will protect the law from “greedy” hands of legislation that is currently protecting only the South Dakota lawmakers who want to stay active in their political roles while doing nothing to provide safe measurements for hemp legalization for South Dakota residents.

As a state where marijuana for a medical purpose and recreational purpose is entirely illegal, we need to ask a question: “How will constitutional amendments change the climate in the entire state when the actions take place towards cannabis legalization?” Will we notice some difference in the people’s perspective regarding legal hemp, and are there any legal solutions to minimize marijuana offenses and offer stable decriminalization of the products as law enforcement takes its full power in the area?

These are the questions that need to be answered by the officials, and the overall political climate might be a subject of change after the November 2020 ballot.

How to Open a Dispensary in South Dakota

If you want to open a dispensary in South Dakota, you will need license recommendations that come within the law. The rules will apply vertical integration, which means that licensing will include industrial hemp growing, processing, and distribution per level. Each level licensing will cost you $5,000, and additional integration will come as the bill takes its full amendment regulation after the ballot initiative.

You will need to apply for a medical or recreational license. Each will cost you money if you want to select the specifics that include:

  1. Location
  2. Cultivating process
  3. A specific number of plants that you want to cultivate
  4. Location and asset specifics that comply with the regulatory rules (position of the business that must not be within the required feet distance from schools, parks, and specific private and local assets)
  5. Governing body’s regulations that will regulate the distribution

Applicants for a dispensary license will have an opportunity to open a business in a state with the “harshest regulations” in the entire country. That might be an issue for some of the business owners.

We are still waiting to see how sales tax regulations will be positioned in the area where the perspective for sales growth is tremendous. Many potential buyers want to have an opportunity to buy and use medical cannabis and recreational cannabis products in legitimate ways.

With South Dakota’s proposed regulations out-of-state operators won’t be able to penetrate the market as easily. A space for small businesses should remain intact because many small business openings can create a broader market where cannabis consumers will have options for choosing the right cannabis product.

The cannabis industry should be generating a market size worth of $73.6 billion by 2027. These numbers speak about the volume that the industry has in terms of sales and distribution. If we apply only a small portion to South Dakota, we will see how decriminalizing marijuana brings many more benefits than downsides.

Only with the legalization bill that must take the full application in the state will we witness a massive portion of marijuana industry activism that speaks about social equity and social justice. In the same manner, we will be there to see how South Dakotans open their mind for different cannabis products. It will be a considerable takeover of the market share since the state has been an example of cannabis prohibition until now.

A November 2020 ballot is created to open a new chapter in South Dakota marijuana laws as many voters come to the voting places with beliefs that something can be changed for the better.

Our guests on this initiative story were Drey Samuelson, political director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, and Melissa Mentele, the executive director for New Approach South Dakota.

Don’t miss out on our Marijuana Legalization Map where you can browse the current status of laws in every state in the United States and see all our posts on each of them.

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Interested in coming on as a guest? Email our producer at [email protected].

Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.
Homegrown Cannabis Co's Cannabis Seeds
Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.

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