Gov. Noem on the legal complications of tribal medical marijuana programs opening July 1

South Dakota Marijuana

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Today the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe officially announced its own medical cannabis program will be ready to issue licenses to patients next Thursday. The tribe says its native nations Cannabis dispensary will open in Flandreau on July 1st, and will start selling to people who meet the requirement’s of the tribe’s medical cannabis ordinance.

KELOLAND’S Bridget Bennett interviewed South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on Thursday about what the tribe’s plan for medical marijuana means for people in the state.

Bridget Bennett: Are you aware of the medical marijuana programs happening on the tribes in south Dakota.

Governor Noem: I am, yeah.

Governor Noem says the tribe’s plan to start their own program before the state begins issuing medical cannabis cards by the November 18th deadline is a legal complication.

Governor Noem: We have some law enforcement officers, states attorneys, that are very confused on what they do right now from July 1st until October 29th. How do they see someone interact with them who has marijuana on their person but doesn’t have a medical card?

While IM 26 does give the state until November to start issuing cards, the new law has several provisions protecting non resident cardholders that take effect on July 1st. Included in that definition are identification cards issued by another state, district or territory.

[Effective July 1, 2021] No nonresident cardholder is subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or entity, for transporting, purchasing, possessing, or using medical cannabis in accordance with this chapter if the nonresident cardholder does not possess more than three ounces of cannabis and the quantity of cannabis products established by rules promulgated by the department under § 34-20G-72.

Nonresident cardholders not subject to arrest, prosecution, penalty, or discipline for certain conduct, South Dakota Codified Law 34-20G-72

Bridget Bennett: Will the state recognize medical marijuana cards from other states?

Governor Noem: We will when the system is set up as laid out by the law. Yes, there is a process that when we have the ability to get that time frame in place that we’ll be able to certify those other cards.

As the state works to build its own medical cannabis registration, Governor Noem says state leaders are meeting with other stakeholders to build the safest system possible for South Dakota.

Governor Noem: We’ve got a lot of businesses reaching out to south Dakota that want to do business here to provide these types of products to individuals, so those have been discussions that every agency is having continuously.

As for the local business planning to open on July 1, Governor Noem says the legal implications for people who use the Flandreau Santee Sioux Program are unclear.

Governor Noem: A lot of those decisions when it comes to how we interact with tribal members tribal cards and the sales to those off of tribal areas is going to come up to states attorneys and what they decide to do as far as prosecution.

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