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South Dakota Takes Step Toward Adopting Medical Marijuana Rules

by Team Marijuana News

The South Dakota legislative panel responsible for the approval of the rules that will govern the state’s new medical marijuana law has approved various proposed regulations and sent others back to be reviewed. This was an important administrative step towards making the new law effective.

The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee on Monday gave “the green light” to the majority of the 124 pages of proposed regulations for medical cannabis in South Dakota from the state Department of Health,” local television station KELO reported.

Other regulations were rescinded by the committee. According to the Associated Press, the lawmakers on the panel rejected one proposal “that would have limited the amount of high-potency marijuana that patients could have and required medical professionals to write a recommendation for patients who wanted to plant more than three cannabis plants and established a list of conditions that would be considered medical reasons for a recommendation.”

The committee submitted “a dozen of the ideas” back to the Department of Health.

The committee also approved other rules, including one that “set the fee at $75 for medical marijuana cards, and reduce the fee to just $20 for applicants with low incomes,” according to the AP. Another that established the state licensing fee of $5,000 for any medical marijuana establishment was also approved.

The Associated Press noted that a “host of lobbyists, representing medical organizations as well as the cannabis industry, reacted to some rules, though most of them were awed by the Department of health’s rule-making process.” The Department of Health was also applauded by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

“I commend the Department of Health for its efforts to streamline the process,” she said in a statement, as quoted by the Associated Press. “South Dakota will continue to pursue a world-class medical marijuana program that is patient-focused across the country.”

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South Dakota Compromises

However there were a few who weren’t as enthusiastic about the proposed regulations. Troy Heinert, the Democratic leader of South Dakota’s state senate represented the only vote in opposition to the proposed regulations.

“As I speak with people across the state, they want it legalized and taxed. I believe we’ve made it harder than we needed to,” Heinert said, according to KELO. “From our side, we’re all about freedom.”

Indeed, many of the state’s politicians have been reluctant to accept the new medical marijuana law despite 70 percent South Dakota voters approving the measure that legalized the treatment during the election of last year.

The law was officially implemented on July 1st, but to date, the sole dispensary that has opened its doors to customers is on an Native American reservation located on the eastern part of the state.

Noem, a possible Republican presidential candidate has stated that highway patrol officers in the state will not honor tribal-issued medical cannabis cards if issued to non-tribal members.

She has also been in PSAs throughout the summer to explain how the state intends to implement the law.

“One of my jobs as governor is to ensure that the wishes of the people are respected and all constitutional laws are complied with. Noem states that the medical cannabis program is on track and they are working hard to implement a responsible policy according to the instructions of voters.

According to the state, sales are expected to start next summer. The communities of South Dakota are currently working on their own ordinances to regulate medical cannabis dispensaries. Last week, Sioux Falls’ city council approved a list of proposals. One of them will restrict the number of dispensaries to five.

The article South Dakota Takes a Step towards Approving Medical Marijuana Rules originally appeared on High Times.

This post was originally published on this site

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