South Dakota Lawmakers Tighten Medical Marijuana Laws!

On Tuesday, the House Health and Human Services Committee approved two bills that would impose stricter regulations on medical marijuana.

In order to qualify for a medical marijuana card, a patient would need to undergo a medical evaluation at an approved healthcare facility, as proposed by House Bill 1172.

A physician’s assessment of a patient’s medical history is mandated by HB 1129, the other piece of legislation under consideration. In addition, the visit cannot be for the purpose of getting a medical marijuana card without a referral, and there must be no known contraindications to using cannabis for medical purposes.

Representative Fred Deutsch (R-Florida) sponsored both measures.

South Dakota lawmakers tighten medical marijuana laws


Deutsch has stated that the first bill will regulate so-called “pop-up” clinics, which can be found in places like hotels and retail spaces.

Representative Deutsch stated, “There are no regulations on clinic locations.” In other words, this would add a small amount of control.

He mentioned that some of these clinics had been held in nightclubs and bars.

South Dakota medical marijuana lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy argued that bill HB 1172 arbitrarily limits the number of dispensaries where patients can apply for medical marijuana cards. He added that even the worst places are preferable to doing nothing at all.

Most marijuana is sold illegally, according to Murphy. The more people you can get into the hands of medical professionals, the better.

The bills were opposed, but their demise was avoided. By a vote of 10 to 2, the committee approved HB 1172. With a final tally of 9 votes to 4, House Bill 1129 was approved.

Both bills have been sent to the House for further debate.


Mohit Sharma

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