PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s latest round of rules regarding medical marijuana cleared the final test Tuesday.
The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee gave them the green light on a 5-0 vote after no one opposed them.
Ali Tornow, a lawyer for the South Dakota Department of Health, told the lawmakers the rules reflect laws passed in the 2022 legislative session: SB 4, SB 10, SB 18, SB 19, SB 21, SB 23, SB 24, SB 26 and SB 118.
Among the changes are tightening the definition of the provider-patient relationship; adding physician assistants and advanced-practice registered nurses to the eligibility definition for providers; and limiting home-growers to two flowering plants and two non-flowering plants. There are also changes to business regulations.
Senator Jean Hunhoff, a Yankton Republican, noted that the June 21 hearing minutes reflected suggestions from cannabis proponents for other rule changes. “This hearing (Tuesday) is on the proposed rules,” she said.
Said Tornow, “We are considering them for a future rules packet.”
Ned Horsted, executive director for the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota, spoke in favor of Tuesday’s proposed rules.
Horsted noted that the state’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee voted Thursday to recommend that the department pursue additional changes. Health Secretary Joan Adam serves on that panel.
Seventy percent of South Dakota voters legalized medical marijuana in November 2020. Two tribal dispensaries are operating at Flandreau and Pine Ridge. State-licensed dispensaries are expected to start operating later this year.
Governor Kristi Noem opposed both IM 26 and Amendment A that would have legalized adult-use marijuana. Amendment A passed with 54% support, but the governor’s private lawyers succeeded in convincing the South Dakota Supreme Court to throw A out last year. IM 27 regarding adult-use marijuana is on the fall election ballot.
Unlike a constitutional amendment that requires a statewide vote for further changes, IM 27 can be accepted, amended or repealed outright by the Legislature. Many Republican lawmakers opposed adult-use legalization.
The Department of Health went through two rounds of medical marijuana rule-making last year.
Representative Kevin Jensen, a Canton Republican, called for the latest rules package’s approval Tuesday. “I’m glad you’re working together. It’s good to see,” he said.