The South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program officially began issuing patient cards on Nov. 18, issuing its first card to a resident of Day County. But as of Tuesday the state had received only 10 applications, approving seven at that point, and advocates found a lack of registered doctors in the process could be a hurdle for patients.
“Today marks the culmination of months of hard work in preparation for the kickoff of a responsive and efficient medical cannabis program for eligible South Dakotans,” Medical Cannabis Program Administrator Geno Adams said in a Nov. 18 press release. “In the months ahead, we will continue to ensure that patients and their caregivers, can continue to obtain medical cannabis permits in accordance with their written certifications.”
South Dakota voters approved Initiated Measure 26 in the November 2020 general election, thus setting the stage for legalized medical cannabis statewide. Attempts to push back the date of implementation failed, and IM 26 went into effect on July 1.
South Dakota Department of Health spokesperson Daniel Bucheli told the Capital Journal that 10 applications for cards had been received as of Tuesday and seven cards had been granted thus far.
“Per SDCL 34-20G, the Department of Health has 15 days to