South Dakota lawmakers tighten medical marijuana laws

Jars of marijuana line a shelf at The Flower Shop Dispensary in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Oct. 14,...
Jars of marijuana line a shelf at The Flower Shop Dispensary in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Oct. 14, 2022. South Dakota's legal pot industry has started with medical cannabis, but voters are deciding whether to also legalize recreational pot. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)(Stephen Groves | AP)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:33 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) -- Two bills placing more restrictions on medical marijuana passed the House Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday.

One bill, HB 1172, requires a medical assessment of a patient in a licensed healthcare facility to obtain a medical cannabis card.

The other bill, HB 1129, requires that a doctor certify that they have assessed the patient’s medical history. It would also require the visit is not for obtaining a marijuana card unless it is a referral, and that any contra-indications of medical cannabis are indicated.

Both bills were sponsored by Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch from Florence.

Deutsch said the first bill addresses “pop-up” clinics in hotels, storefronts, and other locations.

“There are no regulations on clinic locations,” Rep. Deutsch said. “This would provide some modicum of regulation.”

He said such clinics had been held in bars and strip clubs.

Jeremiah Murphy, a lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry in South Dakota, said HB 1172 arbitrarily reduces the number of facilities where potential patients can receive their medical marijuana card. He also said as odious as some locations might be, they are better than the alternatives.

“The black market is where most marijuana is sold,” Murphy said. “The more you put people in front of doctors, the better.”

Opponents made attempts to kill the bills but were unsuccessful. HB 1172 passed the committee on a 10 to 2 vote. HB 1129 passed on a 9 to 4 vote.

Both measures now go to the House for further consideration.