PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A long-time educator and armed-forces veteran has been reappointed to South Dakota’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee.

The Legislature’s Executive Board decided Tuesday that Brian Doherty of Fort Pierre will be the patient representative on the panel.

He replaces Liz Tiger of Spearfish, who also serves as a consultant to 605 Cannabis LLC.

Doherty and Tiger had been patient representatives on the panel’s original version that was established after South Dakota voters legalized medical marijuana in the 2020 election.

The Legislature changed the panel’s makeup during the 2023 session, including a reduction from three qualifying patients to one. The new version takes effect on July 1.

House Republican leader Will Mortenson of Pierre nominated Doherty to take Tiger’s spot. Mortenson spoke recently with Doherty and learned that Doherty thought he didn’t need to re-apply.

“He’s very well qualified,” Mortenson said.

Republican Senator Lee Schoenbeck agreed.

“I think this is a good pick. We didn’t have any really true just-patient applicant. To me he’s the perfect pick,” Schoenbeck said.

Republican Senator Jim Bolin asked for clarification. “How did this happen? Was this just an oversight?”

Mortenson said he had encouraged Doherty to apply for a patient representative slot on the original panel and told about their recent conversation. Mortenson agreed with Schoenbeck that none of the other applicants fit the pure definition of a qualifying patient.

Noted Schoenbeck, “I think several of us made calls to encourage people to apply for certain slots.”

Republican Representative Rebecca Reimer suggested that a conflict-of-interest question be added to the application for future appointments to the panel. She also wondered about its necessity.

“If we’re having trouble finding people, we should consider the need for the board,” Reimer said.