PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Several people representing dispensaries, manufacturers and growers gave state officials their views at a public hearing Thursday on proposed rule changes for South Dakota’s medical cannabis program.
The state Department of Health will consider any comments that it receives through October 9. People can mail them to 600 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD, 57501. The department plans to submit the final package to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee at its final meeting of the year on November 7.
South Dakota voters legalized medical cannabis in 2020. The first dispensary certifications were issued in 2022. This is at least the fifth set of rule proposals. The legislative committee approved two sets in 2021 and two sets in 2022.
On Thursday, Roger Tellinghuisen represented Genesis Farms, Peter Dikun spoke for Flower Shop Dispensary of Sioux Falls and Jeremiah Murphy presented perspectives from the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota.
Murphy praised the department for proposing a 10% allowance on potency and allowing larger-sized tincture containers.
But he spoke against a proposed rule that would require products to be manufactured only with unadulterated cannabis or cannabis concentrates. He agreed that some additives are harmful and should be banned, but he said other additives can be either beneficial or dangerous depending upon the product that they are in. He suggested that the department develop a more detailed list rather than a general rule.
On pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes, Murphy said a proposed testing requirement would be costly for manufacturers and the higher prices would be economically uncompetitive. He said patients could still buy rolling papers and cannabis from dispensaries to make pre-rolls that wouldn’t be subject to state-required testing.
“We are treating what I think is an identical result in two ways,” Murphy said. He suggested that the department should instead develop a list of pre-approved rolling papers that manufacturers could use.
As of September 25, the department reported approvals of 239 practitioners and 11,914 patient cards.