S.D. legislators name IM 26 oversight panel

Capitol News Bureau
KELO South Dakota capitol Pierre legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The new board that will review and advise on medical marijuana in South Dakota has been appointed.

The Legislature’s Executive Board made the choices Wednesday.

The new panel was established as part of Initiated Measure 26 that nearly 70% of South Dakota voters approved last November.

The lawmakers selected Senator Erin Tobin and Representative Ernie Otten as chair and vice chair for the new group.

Other members include Brian Zeeb, assistant director for the state Division of Criminal Investigation;

Matthew Templar, representing the state Office of Attorney General;

Pierre Police Capt. Brian Walz and Mobridge Police Chief Shawn Madison as two representatives of law enforcement;

Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon from the state Department of Health;

Dr. Chris Dietrich of Rapid City as a physician with experience in medical cannabis issues;

Representative Taylor Rehfeldt as a nurse;

Shon Van Hulzon of Brandon, a director at Semka Sciences, as a person with experience in policy development or implementation in the field of medical cannabis;

Qualifying patients Elizabeth Tiger of Spearfish, Brian Dougherty of Fort Pierre and IM 26 author Melissa Mentele of Emery; and

Pharmacist Eric Grocott of Salem, as a person with experience in policy development or implementation in the field of medical cannabis.

Grocott, backed by House Republican leader Kent Peterson and House Speaker Spencer Gosch, squeezed past Kittrick Jefferies of Rapid City on a 8-6 vote.

Jefferies, who has been involved in medical cannabis in Oregon and Colorado and now owns Dakota Cannabis Consulting, was supported by Representative Mike Derby, Senate Republican leader Gary Cammack and Senate Democrats leader Troy Heinert.

Heinert noted that medical marijuana won’t be sold by pharmacies; “It’s almost a competing industry.”

Replied Gosch about Grocott, “He’s very, very bilateral, if you will… He’s one of those who says, ‘Let’s do it right.’” 

The medical-marijuana laws take effect July 1. Secretary Malsam-Rysdon expects her department will start issuing certification cards to patients and caregivers by November 18. South Dakota will join about three dozen other states that have legalized medical marijuana.

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