Medical marijuana card event taking place in Sioux Falls is hosting an event in Sioux Falls to help get Medical Cannabis cards those... is hosting an event in Sioux Falls to help get Medical Cannabis cards those who need them.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 7:42 PM MDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - An effort is underway this week in Sioux Falls to help medical marijuana patients receive the certification they need in order to get medication.

What’s being called the “Marijuana Spring Fling” began Tuesday and goes through Thursday, each day from 8 am to 10 pm., one of the country’s largest medical cannabis certification and telehealth companies, is behind the event.

Dakota News Now spoke with a patient who utilized the event to get his medical marijuana card. His name is Scott. While he chose not to reveal his last name, he told us his story.

Scott has suffered from Crohn’s Disease since he was just a boy. He says access to medical marijuana is a game-changer.

“What it does is just help calm down my guts, allows me to eat, nausea is a huge part of the illness, and the cramping is unreal,” Scott said.

He drove from the Rapid City area to get his certification.

“It’s just great to finally have relief, so much medicine has not worked,” Scott said. “I was part of clinical trials for medicines, and different remedies and therapeutics, but it just didn’t work.”

Though Medical Cannabis has been legal in South Dakota since last summer, accessing the product and its accompanying certification has been a challenge for some seeking it. founder Molefi Branson says the mass event makes the process convenient and easy.

“It’s incredibly important, that’s why we’re here. It’s all about access: access to resources, access to medication, access to medical marijuana,” Branson said.

Scott says his provider West River refused to prescribe medical marijuana. A similar notion has been circulating about Sioux Falls regional health systems.

So, Dakota News Now reached out to Sanford and Avera about their policy.

Sanford said:

“Sanford does not endorse or oppose the use of medical marijuana. We continue to evaluate the medical cannabis program in South Dakota and changes to the program, including some of the changes made during this last South Dakota Legislative Session. It is up to each individual Sanford provider to determine the use of medical marijuana in regards to each patient’s individual care plan and what they feel is medically best for their patients.” - Joshua Crabtree, M.D., clinic vice president - Sanford Health Sioux Falls Region

Avera’s Public Relations Manager, Michelle Pellman, offered a similar statement:

“Avera believes in the physician-patient relationship – and supports each physician in using their clinical judgment to decide what is best for each individual patient. Avera stands behind each physician’s decision to certify or not certify.”

Throughout this three-day event, authorized physicians, all of whom practice out-of-state, will be available to certify patients with qualifying health conditions.

But, it’s not only about access, it’s about breaking the stigma. It’s part of why Scott only agreed to give us his first name.

“Being on camera after this isn’t real easy after this process, but we have the legality, we have the paperwork, and it’s legitimate, it’s real, and it’s here... and, I just want to encourage people to go get the treatment that they deserve,” Scott said.

Now, an important note, the process isn’t free. The fee is $279, but it’s only due if the patient is approved by the doctor. And, before showing up to the event, you must fill out a pre-screening online.

For more information about the process, click here.

For more information about Medical Cannabis in South Dakota, click here.

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