The South Dakota legislative panel responsible for approving the rules that will govern the state’s new medical marijuana law has ratified various proposed regulations and sent others back for review. This is an important administrative step toward implementation of the new program.
Monday’s Rules Review Committee gave the green light to the majority of the proposed regulations of 124 pages regarding medical cannabis in South Dakota, local television station KELO reported.
Other regulations were also rejected by the committee. According to the Associated Press, the lawmakers on the panel disapproved of one idea “that would have limited the amount of high-potency marijuana that patients could use and required medical professionals to write a recommendation for patients who want to grow more than three cannabis plants, and defined the conditions that could be considered medical reasons for a recommendation.”
The committee sent “a half-dozen proposals” back to the Department of Health for review, according to KELO.
The committee also approved other rules, such as one that “set an application fee of $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 at $5,000 for any medical marijuana facility was also approved.
The Associated Press noted that a host of lobbyists representing both the medical industry as well as the cannabis industry objected to certain rules. However, nearly all applauded South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s rule-making process. Kristi Noem.
“I commend Department of Health for their hard work to simplify this process,” she stated in an announcement , as quoted in the Associated Press . “South Dakota will continue to implement the most effective, patient-focused medical marijuana program across the nation.”
South Dakota Compromises
However there were a few who weren’t as excited about the proposed regulations. Troy Heinert, the Democratic chairman of the South Dakota state senate, was the only member of the committee against the proposed regulations.
“As I talk to people throughout the state, they’re wanting it legalized and taxed. Heinert declared that “I think we’ve made it more difficult than we needed to,” , as quoted by KELO. “From our side we’re all about freedom.”
Despite the fact that the measure legalizing medical marijuana was approved by 70% of South Dakota voters last year however, some state officials aren’t ready to take it on.
Officially the law took effect on July 1. However, so far, only one dispensary has opened its doors to customers: the one located on an Native American reservation at the eastern part of the state.
Noem is a potential Republican presidential candidate has stated that highway patrol officers in the state won’t accept tribal medical cannabis cards if they are issued to non-tribal members.
She has also been in PSAs throughout the summer to explain how the state plans to apply the law.
“One of my responsibilities as governor is to ensure that the will of the people is followed and that constitutional laws are abided by.” Noem states that the medical cannabis program is in good shape and that they are working hard to implement a responsible and responsible program, following the instructions of the voters.
The state has announced that sales are likely to begin next summer. South Dakota’s communities are currently developing their own ordinances to regulate medical cannabis dispensaries. Last week, Sioux Falls’ city council approved a list of proposals. One of them would limit the number of dispensaries to five.
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