PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The governor wants to put medical marijuana back into play Monday when South Dakota lawmakers return to the Capitol for their final day of the regular session.
But neither chamber of the Legislature seems interested in taking it up again, their leading lawmakers said Friday evening
“Neither (chamber) will suspend the rules to take up the marijuana issue,” Schoenbeck told KELOLAND News.
Suspending the rules for new legislation requires two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As for recycling an existing bill that had been defeated, that too would require a two-thirds majority in each chamber, according to Schoenbeck’s interpretation of the Legislature’s rules.
Nearly 70% of South Dakota voters approved IM 26 in November legalizing medical marijuana. The law takes effect July 1, 2021.
Gosch had a similar perspective about whether the House would take up the suggested changes.
“At the moment, there isn’t much of an appetite to discussed the proposed revisions to IM 26 during veto day,” Gosch said late Friday night. “I personally feel that any proposed amendments would need to be done in a transparent, fair, and public proceeding to ensure that all parties involved are provided an opportunity to voice their viewpoints.”
Schoenbeck said he plans to ask the other 31 Republican senators on Monday whether they want a special session later this spring on changes to medical marijuana. If there’s not a majority of 18, the special session won’t happen, he said.
The governor’s move Friday reflected a white flag of sorts. Noem and some legislators had wanted to delay medical marijuana’s start until July 1, 2022, so her administration would have more time to work on details that IM 26 didn’t cover.
The House later adopted a delay until January 1, 2022. But the House refused to agree to further changes the Senate made to HB 1100. The legislation died when a House-Senate conference committee deadlocked on an amendment proposed by its sponsor, Gosch.
Noem now wants to set a maximum of three plants in a user’s home for personal use, prohibiting smoking or vaping marijuana by those younger than age 21, and clarifying the state Department of Health authority to track marijuana from seed to sale.
Noem at the same time is trying to stop Constitutional Amendment A from taking effect July 1 legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older. The South Dakota Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the coming weeks.