SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Roughly a year after South Dakota voters approved the use of medical marijuana the state Department of Health will release the process on how qualified residents can receive the required medical marijuana card.

The card is like a passport to approved medical marijuana use. An individual must meet the criteria and be certified by an authorized doctor to apply for a state medical marijuana use card.

Nov. 1 is the official day when the medical marijuana program can start but individuals should be ready to apply, said Daniel Bucheli, the director of communications for the S.D. DOH.

“We will make the medical cannabis application available on our website and on MedCannabis.SD.Gov in the coming days,” Bucheli said in an email response to KELOLAND News’ questions.

“Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis, in the most expedient manner possible,” Bucheli said. “Once applications are received, they will go through the regular application process and be issued/denied given the parameters established for the program.”

The first few weeks of November are expected to be busy.

“As with any new program rollout, we anticipate demand to be high at program launch and to taper off with time,” Bucheli said.

Several cities in the state have been approving medical marijuana dispensaries.

Bucheli said demand for cards could increase as more medical marijuana access points become available.

The state has been preparing for the program launch for several months. The process has included several public hearings and working with an outside consultant.

“We currently have a dedicated medical cannabis program staff, and we don’t anticipate additional staff will be required (to process application or operate the program),” Bucheli said.

The DOH has a Frequently Asked Questions about the medical marijuana program on its website on