South Dakota Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program Signed Into Law by Governor

A bill that greatly expands the list of conditions that qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient in South Dakota has been signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem.

Senate Bill 1 was passed by the state’s Senate in January by a vote of 20 to 15 and was approved by the House of Representatives in a 36 to 32 vote earlier this month, with some minor amendments. The Senate then voted 19 to 15 to concur on amendments, sending it to Governor Noem.

The measure, filed by Senator Ernie Otten with cosponsors Senators Erin Tobin and Taylor Rehfeldt, was signed into law yesterday by Governor Kristi Noem, according to the official website for the South Dakota Legislature. The new law expands the number of eligible patients by explicitly allowing medical marijuana for those diagnosed with:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • cancer (or who are undergoing chemotherapy)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • epilepsy
  • post-traumatic stress

Under current law medical marijuana is only allowed for those with a “debilitating medical condition,” defined by state law as “a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis”.

The legislation also repeals the ability for patients and others to petition health department officials to add additional qualifying conditions in the future, instead giving the power solely to the state’s legislature.

Passed in 2020, South Dakota’s medical marijuana law allows patients to grow up to three plants and possess up to three ounces of marijuana.

The full text of Senate Bill 1 can be found by clicking here.

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