With DOH hearing date now set, S.D. lawmakers want to look at proposed medical-pot rules, too

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A group of state lawmakers will take an early walk through South Dakota’s proposed regulations for medical cannabis.

The Legislature’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee gathers by teleconference at 10 a.m. CT Wednesday to review the 116 pages.

Senator Bryan Brietling chairs the panel.

The state Department of Health has scheduled a public hearing on the package Wednesday, August 18, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT.

Remote testimony by telephone will be allowed for the August 18 hearing. Persons who want to testify remotely must send an email to register by Friday, August 13, to dohcomments@state.sd.us. The email should provide the full name, email address, whom the witness is representing, and city of residence.

The department also will accept written comments by U.S. mail. The address is South Dakota Department of Health, 600 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, South Dakota, 57501. Written comments must be received by August 28 to be considered.

The department could make changes, additions or deletions to the proposed rules after August 28. The final version will go to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for final clearance. The six lawmakers are scheduled to meet September 13.

The rules review panel initially refused to accept the state Board of Education Standards proposal for medical cannabis in South Dakota K-12 schools, in part because non-public schools would have been covered. The panel accepted the board’s second version that applies only to public schools.

South Dakota voters in November approved Initiated Measure 26 legalizing medical cannabis for state-approved card-holders by nearly 70 to 30%.

Voters also approved Amendment A legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older 54 to 46%, but Governor Kristi Noem challenged the validity of the ballot measure afterward. The South Dakota Supreme Court has the matter under consideration.

State Health officials filed a costs and revenue statement as part of the rules package.

They estimate the cost of getting medical cannabis up and running at more than $1.3 million, with an ongoing annual expense of more than $1 million.

The revenue expected from card holders and care givers would be $336,305 the first year and $613,618 in year two. Establishments would pay state fees of $2,783,305 in year one and more than $6.4 million in year two.

An estimated 100 to 499 small businesses would be affected by the dispensary, processor and grower rules.

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