Noem says South Dakota lawmakers will create “safe and correct” plan for medical marijuana

February 10, 2021

PIERRE, S.D.–Legislative leaders in South Dakota say they plan to implement a medical marijuana program in the state, but it’s going to take time.

In a joint press release issued this morning, Governor Kristi Noem announced she and legislative leaders in both chambers plan to implement initiated Measure 26, medical marijuana, but say they’ll need additional time to do so ‘safely and correctly.’

State Senate Majority Leader Gary Cammack says, “We will honor the voters’ wishes.”

House Bill 1100 was amended overnight to be the vehicle for medical marijuana passage this year. The new language of the bill establishes an extended timeline for lawmakers to work out the details of implementation.

House Majority Leader Kent Peterson said, “Based upon the experiences of other states, we know that it takes time to start implementing a safe and workable program. We will get the job done.”

But today’s announcement doesn’t mean the process is a done deal. There’s still a lot to be negotiated.

Moments after the announcement, Governor’s spokesperson Ian Fury told the South Dakota Broadcasters Association, “We do have concerns with portions of IM26 as currently written. The interim committee will work through those and recommend solutions.”

Medical marijuana was overwhelmingly approved by South Dakota voters last November. 70 percent of votes cast were in favor of allowing medical cannabis in the state.

IM26 relates solely to medical marijuana and does not include recreational use. A separate recreational marijuana law was approved by voters but has been ruled unconstitutional by a Hughes County Court earlier this week.