Recreational Marijuana has not been legalized in South Dakota. Although voters approved of the Marijuana Legalization Initiative in the November 2020 election, the amendment to the state constitution was overturned by Circuit Judge Christina Klinger. The move echoes Governor Kristi Noem's objection to the amendment. The Medical Marijuana Initiative, passed separately, will not be affected by the ruling.
Medical marijuana patients may possess up to three ounces of marijuana.
Purchasing limits have not yet been set, however, they are expected to closely follow the possession limits in the state.
In short, cannabis can only be legally consumed in South Dakota by medical cardholders in a private residence, away from public view. Additionally, the law highlights prohibition of possession or consumption in the following places:
Restricted Cannabis Possession & Consumption Areas:
- Any location where smoking tobacco is prohibited
- In a school bus
- On school grounds (public or private)
- On the grounds of any correctional facility
Driving Under the Influence
The new medical cannabis regulations state that, “operating or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, train, aircraft, motorboat, or other motorized form of transport while under the influence of marijuana,” and “consumption of marijuana while operating or being in physical control of a motor vehicle, train, aircraft, motorboat, or other motorized form of transport, while it is being operated, or smoking marijuana within a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, or other motorized form of transport, while it is being operated,” all still remain illegal, even if the person doing so holds a medical marijuana card.
Medical Marijuana in South Dakota
To qualify for medical marijuana in South Dakota, a person must have a debilitating medical condition, which the state defines as, “A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:”
Qualifying Medical Marijuana Conditions:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe, debilitating pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department.
According to regulations of Initiated Measure 26, “non-residents may use out-of-state registration cards.” The measure notes that a nonresident cardholder must, “submit any documentation required by the department, and has to receive confirmation of registration.” What this process might require has not yet been established.
Where to Get Marijuana In South Dakota
Unfortunately, it will likely be some time before cannabis can be purchased from a medical dispensary. Currently, no form of legalized cannabis is available. Furthermore, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative was deemed unconstitutional by Circuit Judge Christina Klinger, despite it being approved by a majority of voters. Thus, recreational cannabis remains illegal in the state, with no plans to open dispensaries.
According to the Medical Marijuana Initiative, patients registered to cultivate marijuana at home could grow three plants at minimum, or a greater amount as prescribed by a physician. The “minimum” requirement here is not yet well defined. Expect more details as the medical program is established.
The Medical Marijuana Initiative appears to allow for the creation of delivery services, stating that "delivery" to a cardholder falls under "medical use," however what this looks like in practice remains to be seen. Currently, there is no marijuana delivery available in South Dakota.