SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — During a budget hearing before the South Dakota Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) presented info on the state’s medical cannabis program.

The DOH began approving practitioners to recommend medical cannabis in November 2021. In July 2022, the definition of a practitioner was expanded to include not just physicians, but also physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses.

At the end of FY 2022, there were 193 approved practitioners, 152 of which were physicians, 8 which were physician assistants, and 33 that were advanced practice nurses.

Breaking medical cannabis establishments into four categories, the DOH also provided the numbers of certified dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers and testing facilities for FY 2022 and 2023.

Most licenses for dispensaries, manufacturing and cultivation were received in 2022, as were those for testing. While two facilities are marked for testing, it is worth noting that only one is privately owned, while the other is the testing lab operated by the DOH.

The overall requested budget for the DOH for FY 2023 is $125,249,362. Of that, $1,563,678 would be earmarked for the Medical Cannabis Program.

According to DOH numbers from January 30, 2023, there are now 202 approved practitioners and 7,060 approved patients.