Cannabis Law

On November 3, 2020, South Dakota voters passed Initiated Measure 26 (IM 26) which legalized the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes.  The voters also approved Constitutional Amendment A (Amendment A) which legalizes marijuana for recreational use.  Additionally, Amendment A requires the Legislature pass laws regarding access to marijuana for medical purposes, and to regulate the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp. 

Amendment A amends the South Dakota Constitution to legalize the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana by people age 21 and over.  Additionally, pursuant to Amendment A, the Department of Revenue (DOR) is tasked with the exclusive responsibility to “license and regulate the cultivation, manufacture, testing, transport, delivery, and sale of marijuana in the state….”  DOR must implement these rules no later than April 1, 2022.  Amendment A also provides that the Legislature must pass laws regarding marijuana for medical use and the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. 

IM 26 creates a new statutory procedure for the provision of marijuana to individuals with certain medical conditions.  The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) is charged with promulgating rules to implement IM 26.  DOH must promulgate certain rules within 120 days of the Act’s effective date.  

The implementation of Amendment A and IM 26 will involve legislation at both the state and local level.  Although full implementation of the measures will not occur right away, it is important for stakeholders to get involved now.  The laws and regulations that will affect South Dakota’s cannabis industry will be crafted in the upcoming legislative sessions.  Your input now can help to influence the direction of this legislation and shape South Dakota’s medical and adult use cannabis industries.  Please feel free to contact our firm to see how we can help you plan for the future.